Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A light from UNESCO Happy Divali

While the focus of the International Year of Light has been been about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health, it also recognises that light plays a vital role in our daily lives. It has revolutionized medicine, opened up international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society. (see link here).
Over the doorway to Room II where the UNESCO Education Commission of the 38th General Conference met lending its energy to the room as policy makers, politicians, educators, librarians, NGOs and social workers met to analyse and assess and helped carve a pathway to the future we want through the Education Agenda to 2030 is the painting by Mexican Rufino Tamayo. It was commissioned for the then newly built UNESCO headquarters in Paris. It captures what may be considered a Grecian legend of Prometheus bringing fire to mankind – to others it is the indigeneous spirit of our regions, the primeval energy of fire that sparked the progress of humankind through innovation and invention.
Tamayo’s own words on his mural as he passed it to us was:
That the light that seems to irradiate out of the fire of my badly lit ‘Prometheus’ may illuminate the spirits of those who are in charge of the tremendous task of unifying the world through culture

That was 70 years ago. Now, 70 years on, we are again renewing that commitment, charged with the task of unifying the world through transforming the culture of education and spreading enlightenment through art, culture, science and information.
And may the many myriads of Divali that would light up the world tonight illuminate our hearts and minds towards a culture of peace so we leave the best possible legacy for this and coming generations of the world we want. Happy Divali!