B4 Peace

art + participation + discussion =
transformation of hearts and minds

B4 Peace Vision

B4 Peace uses art at the community level to engage communities in their own peacebuilding process. B4 Peace facilitates this exploration through art installations, performances and peace-art workshops. In each project, B4 Peace utilizes multiple types of presentations to appeal to different people and their unique preferences. Genuine engagement is a key ingredient in B4 Peace projects and is necessary to accomplish the healing and transformative process of peace art.  The model that B4 Peace follows is straightforward and profound:

art + participation + discussion = transformation of hearts and minds

B4 Peace Founder and Director, Namaya has worked with local heroes in Algeria, Chile, Palestine and throughout Europe and the United States on public peace arts programs. His award winning poem 100 Flowers of Peace has been translated into over 100 languages by volunteers from around the world. More info on FB https://www.facebook.com/100flowersofpeace/. At the International Peace Park of Villa Grimaldi in Santiago, Chile, B4 Peace worked with Chilean musicians, dancers, anthropologists and artists to create a dance peace and ceremony to honor Chilean heroes of social justice and peace called Memoria. Hablar. Dignidad.

A portion of Namaya Productions proceeds benefits GRACECares.

Current B4 Peace Events

Agent Orange: Do Not Forget Me

Agent Orange: Do Not Forget Me is a B4 Peace project by Namaya, artist and designer. The goal of the project is to increase knowledge and action regarding the on-going damage caused by the chemical defoliant used by the US military during the Vietnam War. The Agent Orange chemical warfare program left enormous environmental damage and caused significant health problems (congenital disabilities and malfunctions, cancer, miscarriages, premature deaths in children, and skin diseases) amongst those exposed during the Vietnam War. Presently, there are still over 2 million individuals suffering from Agent Orange Syndrome in Vietnam and the USA. While American veterans receive compensation from the US government for AO syndrome, the Vietnamese victims do not receive compensation.

To learn more about the continued devastation and harm caused by Agent Orange (AO) please watch this video:

Follow our journey:  Namaya Productions

You can help us help others by donating now.

The AO educational video was shared at the Veterans for Peace Annual Convention in August 2020 and will be shared throughout 2021 to further educate the public on the need for remediation and justice. Zoom and public presentations on Agent Orange will be offered in 2021.

A sculpture created by Namaya will be installed at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in 2021. The sculpture uses (simulated) orange barrels with portraits of those affected conveys the devastating and lingering effects of the Vietnam War and the names of the corporations responsible. Under the direct technical guidance of Dr. Namaya, the B4Peace will team up with the War Remnants Museum in

Vietnam, volunteers, and local artists in Vietnam to implement the project. Plans are underway to display the sculpture in the US and virtually.

The art and parallel advocacy campaign facebook.com/donotforgetme  is designed to raise awareness of the extent of the damage and inspire critical thinking, dialogue, and concrete action towards re-addressing the social impact of the chemical warfare program. In sharing the lingering effects of Agent Orange with a US and international public, we hope to promote peace and advocate for continued support for victims.  An integral part of the project is “Yes I can/ Yes we can” to highlight the courageous work of individuals with Agent Orange Syndrome (AOS), their families, and organizations.

The project has been endorsed by Veterans for Peace and is a collaboration with other groups in the US, Vietnam and around the world.

Past B4 Peace Events

Journey to Forgiveness – Vietnam

Namaya, a US Veteran, along with the B4Peace Team (Dean Gallea, Kasey Ochiltree), need your support to continue their work of educating people and facilitating healing after war, so that there can be a peaceful future throughout the world. During the first few weeks of January, Namaya and Zoe Kopp photographed and interviewed people throughout Vietnam and documented their stories and examined the process of being able to forgive; both for older generations who personally experienced the war and for younger people who do not have this connection. This is a continuation of Namaya’s work on forgiveness and his multiyear art and performance project called Pornography of War – the Impact of War and Militarism on society. The project is helping to educate people about the impact of war and we are identifying locations in Vietnam and in the US that would be fitting places for the art installation B4Peace has envisioned.

B4 Peace Art events throughout the fall of 2018

October 1 – 31, 2018 at the River Garden, 157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT – a show of his Peace Arts Projects and Vermont My Home Art.

Namaya Art Rat for Peace showed works from his New Orleans retrospective show Building a Peaceable Community exhibited at the New Orleans’s Art Center. This exhibit included works that celebrate Vermont in combination of word and art, and peace and human rights Arts.

October 2, 2018, Noon, at the River Garden, 157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT – Namaya presented an art talk about B4 Peace art as part of the Brown Bag Lunch Series.

Namaya Art Rat for Peace  and Zoe Kopp, of GRACE Cares were on hand with a presentation on building peace through community art projects.  B4 Peace Art has projects in Vietnam and throughout the US. This was an open discussion as part of the Strolling of the Heifers Brown Bag Lunch series.

October 6, 2018, 12:00 – 6:00pm, the Art Rat Studio at 773 Guilford Steet, Brattleboro, VT – Open Studio, Children’s Storytime and Peace Art Workshop.

A free Children’s Storytime and Peace Art Workshop from 12:00-2:00pm.  Namaya began with a performance of a story from his children’s CD “On the Island of Binga Bonga: The War that Never Was.”  The CD with free listening can be found at https://namayajazzpoetstoryteller.bandcamp.com.  Namaya and the B4 Peace Team lead a 1 hour Peace Arts Workshop with supplies provided.  Namaya and the B4 Peace Team have created public art projects around the world and have been hosting children’s peace arts projects at the Art Rat studios. Open studio to follow.

October 13 and 14, 2018, 12:00-6:00pm, 773 Guilford Street, Brattleboro, VT – Peace & Social Justice Art by Namaya as part of the Vermont Crafts Council Open Studio weekend at the Art Rat Studio we displayed of art for children, art for all ages, art that celebrates Peace, Ecology and Vermont.  Namaya, artist and poet, presented original art, posters, pictures of Vermont on slate with poetry, books and CD’s.

Satire & Social Commentary

Saturday, November 17, 7:00pm – Tom Neilson and Lynn Waldron, storytellers and folk singers performed at Blue Heron Pond Studio at 773 Guilford St in Brattleboro.

Tom is a storyteller who weaves an autobiographical sketch of satire and social commentary from his dairy farm roots to the Vietnam War, civl rights, liberation struggles in Central America and East Africa, boarder crossings pipelines, guns, breastfeeding, parenting, sexuality, reproduction, humanism, lost loves and more… Hear some songs at: http://tomneilsonmusic.com/

His work has resulted in his winnings several music awards that includes two Song of the Year Awards from Independent Musicians and a 2015 nomination for the United Nations Nelson Mandela Awards for lifetime achievement in peace and justice.

Last year he recived the Arab American Women Association Award for Global Education Through Performance Art.

Michael Stock of WLRN Miami, Florida says “Tom does a great job of reminding people of what is really important, and the power of folk music to say it”

Tom will tell you he is just a farm boy with a guitar who likes a good ball game and human rights.

This event was sponsored by GRACE Cares and B4 Peace project.

B4 Peace New Orleans Art Exhibit

Building A Peaceable Community International Peace Exhibit, Jan 13 – Feb 4, 2018: Four stellar shows for three weeks. Artists from around the world shared their vision of how together WE CAN build a peaceable community. In the What you say! What I say! exhibit youth shared their vision of a peaceful future. Namaya Art Rat for Peace’s show, Prisoner of War in the Age of Desire, Brough contemplation of what is more pornographic; two people making love or the trillion dollar military budget. Compelling images created a journey through War and show a vision of the Inevitability of Peace. The Deadly Ambiguity of Guns exhibit, questions – Are guns toys or tools? Sport or weapon? Is it a civil right or criminal possession?

“Memoria. Hablar. Dignad.” Art, Dance, Performance and Healing.

Donations to B4 Peace help the growth of peace art and social justice activism!

To request an installation of banners of the 100 Flowers poem and other B4 Peace projects, contact us: programs@gracecares.org