I vividly remember my arrival in Aceh, north of Sumatra island, Indonesia, only six months after the 2004 Tsunami that devastated entire communities in several countries. The inner silence was everything I had, while I was stepping on the ground of hundreds of destroyed houses. Here was a bathroom, there a kitchen. While newspapers all around the world talked about numbers of death, right there, with my feet on that land, I realised that we were talking about people.
That experience was a milestone for me and made me choose communication as my brush which I’ve been using to paint a more humane world, that puts people and nature at the center of political action. In these 13 years, people, neither money nor comfort or career, have been my mission. They are in my writings, in my photos, videos. I am not assuming that everyone should do the same, but I believe it’s my calling.
However, recent times have shown challenges that sometimes seem too hard to overcome. I’ve been noticing that even people of goodwill, when facing conflicts, have chosen violent methodologies to respond. Understanding, empathy and dialogue must be the tools to negotiate existence. And we should do that through our political actions using all our skills.
As a Christian communicator, I echo the words of Pope Francis who invites all faithful to be “bridges”: Promoting dialogue instead of enhancing division – within communities, with political leaders or in the global arena.
The primary challenge seems not to repeat the mainstream media, but to bring hope to the vulnerable communities and to the recipients of the information we share, using methodologies that promote cohesion. That is the only way we can be actors of positive change. That is a one-way road to fulfil my mission as a communicator and continue to work towards making societies a space for peaceful coexistence, besides our differences.