Call for Submissions from Queens Museum: Readings on Peace


Deadline for submissions: December 27, 2016


“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” – Martin Luther King

To accompany the current exhibition Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art, and in observation of Martin Luther King Day, the Queens Museum will host an afternoon of diverse readings on the theme of peace on January 15, 2017. The readings will take place around the Peace Table, originally commissioned in 1997 by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art for Ukeles’ installation Unburning Freedom Hall. Made of layers of cobalt blue stained glass and plate glass in the shape of a halo, the piece is suspended from 50 feet above the central atrium of the Queens Museum, where from 1946 to 1950 the building housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations. During the early post-war years, many important decisions, including the partition of Palestine and the creation of UNICEF, were made within these walls.

The Peace Table was originally the centerpiece of a series of “peace talks” by various peacemakers in an effort to undo the civic trauma of the 1992 Los Angeles riots sparked by the acquittal of LAPD officers videotaped beating Rodney King. A quarter century later, the Black Lives Matter Movement has ignited a nationwide call to action against the widespread violence still committed against black bodies in this country. Since the election of Donald Trump, NYC has seen hate crimes against immigrants, POCs, religious minorities and LGBTQ populations increase by 30%. In this fraught political moment, we choose to consciously create a moment for collective reflection and learning from diverse perspectives. We invoke the voice of those who have struggled and continue to struggle for peace in its most robust sense, meaning not just the cessation of violence but the presence of justice.

We invite the general public to submit their suggestions for a crowd-sourced bibliography of essential short readings on the subject of peace. Selected readings will be printed and made available to the public for the final month of the exhibition. Furthermore, on January 15th, we invite the public to sign up to read from their own or other’s submissions which will be organized in the following categories:

  • Different Cultural Definitions of Peace
  • Religious & Spiritual Teachings on Peace
  • On Interpersonal Peacemaking
  • Diplomacy, Statecraft, & International Conflict Resolution

One can submit already published texts in a variety of styles from poetry to editorials to excerpts from longer essays or books. We also invite submissions of original unpublished writings of your own.  Please limit submissions to what can be read in no longer than 5 minutes (approximately up to 750 words or 1.5 pages of single spaced type).

Please email with “Readings on Peace Submission” in the subject line to submit up to three potential readings to the public bibliography. For each reading, please:

1) Attach a pdf or word file of the excerpt

2) Provide the citation (Title of Work, Author Name, Title of Volume if Any, Publisher, Date Published, Page Range)

3) Which of the above categories best fits your submission

4) 2-3 sentence description of the submission

5) Indicate whether you would be interested to read your submission in person on January 15, 2017 at the Queens Museum

6) Your full name, best email and phone # to reach you

You will be contacted on January 6th, 2017 with decision about whether your submitted readings have been accepted, and if you have chosen to read your selection, when to arrive to take your place at the Peace Table.

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