- Have you heard of UNESCO?
- Do you know what UNESCO does?
Most people will answer yes to the first question, but some might hesitate on the second question.
In 1945, UNESCO was created in order to respond to the firm belief of nations, forged by two world wars in less than a generation, that political and economic agreements are not enough to build a lasting peace. Peace must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity.
My students and I first learned about UNESCO by participating in a Japan Art Mile project. (Read about it here) Other than that, we had been relying on knowledge gained from high school history classes.
Another opportunity to appreciate UNESCO’s work recently presented itself on Twitter:
— Colleen Rose (@ColleenKR) March 30, 2015
Yesterday, my students and I read this tweet and discussed everything we could think that might relate to the campaign: the stories about the destruction of precious artworks overseas, stories from WWII and questions about the Monuments Men, stories about Canada’s history and residential schools…
What we appreciate about the #Unite4Heritage campaign, is the chance to be a part of something positive. Rather than simply learning about an event online, or in a history book, we can take an active role in making a change.
Now, we are challenged with the task of thinking about our own heritage sites and artefacts. What do we cherish? What would we protect, if it was in danger of disappearing? What do we take for granted?