Life Onboard LAST UPDATE  July 12, 2005
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December 30, 2003 Artist Ambassadors – Soul Creations: A New Reality Through Art
(from left) Caleb Duarte, Machingura, Naomi Quinones, Kamau Abayomi
The Artist Ambassador Programme was a key part of Peace Boat's activities in San Francisco in December 2003. Following auditions and interviews, a group of the California Bay Area's most promising artists were chosen to join Peace Boat's 44th Global Peace voyage from Tokyo to the World Social Forum (WSF) 2004 in Mumbai, India. The five young artists, Machingura, Naomi Quinones, Eden Williams, Kamau Abayomi, and Caleb Duarte, are facilitating workshops and lectures onboard to promote peace by providing the Japanese participants with alternative views of the world through art. Representing cultural and ethnic diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Artists also wish to promote international solidarity through different activities.
Kamau raps to make the connection between inner self and higher being
The first event the Artists put together was "Soul Creations: A New Reality Through Art." What was most remarkable about their introduction event was how they presented the diversity of their artistic talents and at the same time their common belief that artists can play a significant role as peace activists to "create a new reality" at community and global levels.

The opening performance was given by Kamau Abayomi. Hip-hop artist and poet, Kamau, performed his original rap "Lone Gunman" and talked about his encounter with spirituality. Having grown up in a rough neighborhood, he realized the importance of solitude free from external distractions in order to reflect on his inner self. He shared his belief with the audience that one must first achieve inner peace before he can spread peace to the world surrounding him. With other musicians onboard, he performs on many different occasions and unites people through music.
Caleb Duarte gives an insight into some of the basic issues facing human beings through his installation artworks
The next presentation was given by Mexican American visual artist, Caleb Duarte, whose slideshow of his artworks showed how he uses dry wall as a primary surface for his paintings and also creates objects with discarded materials to symbolize the basic human need for shelter. With his artworks, he aims to engage the viewer on issues ranging from consumerism, materialism, to global and local class struggles. Caleb describes his artworks as, "an intuitive and spiritual response to, as well as a celebration and contemplation of, the world we live in". Onboard, he hopes to collaborate with the Japanese passengers to create artworks for future exhibitions.
Naomi Quinones gives voice to the personal experience of racism through a transgenerational representation of her family
Japanese Peruvian actress-writer, D.H. Naomi Quinones, grew up in the United States. Naomi, whose Japanese grandparents migrated to Peru to seek a new life, has also worked as a volunteer within the Japanese American community to educate people on the history and status of Japanese Latinos in the U.S. and Latin America. For this event, Naomi performed an excerpt from her original one woman show "Strands," which highlights the effect of racism experienced by an individual family, with the hopes of inspiring the audience to take a stand against other such civil and human rights abuses. The themes of the excerpt, of which the main character is Naomi's own mother, are multicultural and multiethnic identities as well as a mother's love for her children.
Documentary filmmaker, Eden Williams offers her perspective on how what we share in common is greater than our differences
Eden Williams, documentary filmmaker, showed a video clip she produced onboard Peace Boat to highlight her concept of "peace". Eden has chosen to become a filmmaker because of her belief that images are a powerful tool that can be used to not only imagine, but also see, what is possible. Coming from many different ethnic heritages, she has searched for common threads between the peoples and cultures of the world. The aim of her works is to show cultural diversity while slowly stripping away layers of cultural differences to emphasize her point that we are much more the same than we are different. Eden said that every time someone calls her name, "Eden," which means "paradise on earth," she is reminded that peace is possible within our lifetimes and that we should strive to achieve this vision.
Phillip Machingura sings an ancestral song accompanied by the Mbira - an instrument from his native Zimbabwe
Lastly, Machingura, performed a short song dedicated to his grandmother who bravely led the first nationwide struggle for independence in his home country Zimbabwe. Raised in a family of musicians that believe there is no line between performer and audience, Machingura developed his belief that there is no line between a government and its citizens and as a result, highly values social activism. He told the audience that we must take things back into our hands from governments especially in the face of great global crises such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which is the cause he feels most passionate about. Machingura expressed his strong opposition to governments' massive investment in warfare while sorely neglecting humanitarian aid. As an activist, he works as a fundraiser to assist with the provision of treatment to those suffering from HIV/AIDS in Africa.