From the Ship
Reciprocal Education: Introducing the Guest Educators of Peace Boat’s 102nd Global Voyage (Part 2/2)
Over the course of its 104-day global circumnavigation, Peace Boat’s 102nd Global Voyage welcomed an international roster of guest educators coming on board to offer programming connecting their own experience and expertise to the initiatives of the global peace and sustainability community. For more information about the guest educators joining the first half of this voyage, click here.
Walter Chang, author and creator of We Call This Home, is a photographer and filmmaker based in New York City.
Guest Educator Walter Chang joined Peace Boat before its departure from North America. After traveling through 60 countries over a period of three years, Mr Chang, a graduate of New York University’s film and television programme, returned to New York in 2015 to compile his experiences into a video/photography project entitled "We Call This Home.” A subsequently produced viral video raised over $30,000, enabling him to publish a book chronicling his life-changing journey.
During its Transatlantic crossing, Peace Boat welcomed Dr Anna Gawlewicz of the School of Social and Political Sciences at University of Glasgow. An expert in international migration and its effect on social diversity and multiculturalism, Dr Gawlewicz invited participants to consider the effect of Brexit through the lens of recent Polish migrants and the long-settled population of Glasgow.
Dr Xara Tziouvara is the president of the Greek Chapter of Doctors of the World/Médecins du Monde Greece, established 29 years ago to provide inclusive humanitarian assistance.
13 students from Tübingen University’s Masters in Peace Research and International Relations programme joined the voyage for the eighth iteration of a joint partnership with Peace Boat and the Berghof Foundation’s Peace Education Programme. Whilst on board, students shared their diverse perspectives on the aftermath of World War II in Germany and the ways in which time may affect our perception of historical events, underlining the importance of continued and open dialogue.
Participants were shown another aspect of the aftermath of conflict through Dr Xara Tziouvara’s presentations on her work supporting refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean. Both as president of the Greek Chapter of Doctors of the World/Médecins du Monde Greece and an active pediatrician, Dr Tziouvara called on participants to think about the danger, poverty, and insecurity faced by those crossing sea and land borders in need of refuge. Upon Peace Boat’s arrival in Piraeus, participants had the opportunity to accompany Dr Tziouvara to her clinic to learn about these issues firsthand.
Through BOUNDLESS, Dennis Chia hopes to inject fresh perspectives and global diversity into declining communities.
Boarding Peace Boat in Piraeus for its journey through the Suez Canal towards the Indian Ocean, social entrepreneur and former Peace Boat intern Dennis Chia discussed the creation of BOUNDLESS, an enterprise connecting the global with the hyper-local in pursuit of shared sustainability. Participants learned how coordinated community building has helped breathe new life in Japan’s rural areas and helped them to recover from the affects of falling birthrates and the decline of primary and traditional industries.
Finally, Soyama Naoyuki, known as SOYAMAX, demonstrated the collaborative power of the arts through outdoor calligraphy performances on the deck of Peace Boat’s cruise vessel, the Ocean Dream. Diagnosed with Stage 4 malignant lymphoma at age 18, SOYAMAX received a life-saving bone marrow transplant which inspired him to become a travelling calligrapher, using his special skill as a way to build connection with whomever he meets. Skilfully manipulating his huge brush before an excited audience, SOYAMAX painted the character "EN", meaning “bonds,” highlighting the connections and friendships made with participants before the conclusion of their global voyage.
SOYAMAX, originally from Japan but a self-taught speaker of both English and Chinese, uses his calligraphy brush to form connections with the people he meets throught his travels.