Pacifism is opposition to war and violence. The word pacifism was coined by the French peace campaigner Émile Arnaud (1864–1921) and adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress in Glasgow in 1901. A related term is ahimsa (to do no harm), which is a core philosophy in Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism. While modern connotations are recent, having been explicated since the 19th century, ancient references abound.
In Christianity, Jesus Christ's injunction to "love thy neighbor" and asking for forgiveness for his crucifiers "for they know not what they do" have been interpreted as calling for pacifism. In modern times, interest was revived by Leo Tolstoy in his late works, particularly in The Kingdom of God Is Within You. Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948) propounded the practice of steadfast nonviolent opposition which he called "satyagraha", instrumental in its role in the Indian Independence Movement. Its effectiveness served as inspiration to Martin Luther King Jr., James Lawson, James Bevel, Thich Nhat Hanh and many others in the 1950s and 1960s American Civil Rights Movement. Pacifism was widely associated with the much publicized image of Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 with the "Tank Man", where one protester stood in nonviolent opposition to a column of tanks.
‘The Deserter’ by Boardman Robinson. Anti-war cartoon depicting Jesus facing a firing squad made up of soldiers from five different European countries (at that time the US had not yet entered the war) --- First published in The ‘Masses’ in 1916, a white-clad, saintly Jesus standing against a stone wall facing the rifles of the firing squad
also see: The Museum of Art and Peace
The Museum’s mission is to show contemporary art of the highest quality and explore the way visual creativity promotes ideas of peacemaking and social justice with a public program of changing exhibitions and projects.
Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso. It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country village in northern Spain, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces on 26 April 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. Guernica shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. This work has gained a monumental status, becoming a perpetual reminder of the tragedies of war, an anti-war symbol, and an embodiment of peace. Upon completion, Guernica was displayed around the world in a brief tour, becoming famous and widely acclaimed. This tour helped bring the Spanish Civil War to the world's attention.