Mandala Solves Conflicts
AS CONFLICT WAS BREWING, THE KIDS WHERE MAKING ART
Manhattan is the most densely populated borough in NYC with schools often having to share public buildings. After a year of heated tension between three lower east side elementary schools, over space, Diana Gongora believed that something needed to be done. In the hopes of bringing attention to collaboration as a possibility for conflict resolution, Diana Gongora brought the students of all three schools together to make art.
With the approval of all three principles, assistance from parents and the support of the PTA, Diana Gongora gathered students from all three schools in PS 184's gym. Paint, brushes, markers, pastels, confetti, sparkles, and pompoms were the tools that 300 fourth graders who had never met before, used to make three 6 foot mandalas. The children's laughter, excitement and joy of the event permeated the large space. When the mandalas were done, each of the schools could proudly hang one in each of their hallways. The hopes of the project was to show the parents of the schools that we can find new avenues to work together and resolve differences. The following images document this mandala project and hopefully inspires those who participated, witnessed or heard about it to realize that creating a forum where people can come together to create something positive, new paths open for resolving conflicts.
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