In 2022, wars are still raging in different corners of the globe. To welcome World Peace Day on September 21, CGTN has launched its global “Read a poem” campaign under the theme of “Peace and Poetry”, and is calling on people from different national, linguistic and cultural backgrounds to send love and pray for peace through poetry.
To get the ball rolling, CGTN’s hosts, internet influencers and reporters began publishing poems and recording reactions, which have since aroused extensive interaction among netizens.
Stephanie Fried has been a war correspondent for 11 years. While covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for CGTN (then CCTV), the editors in Beijing asked if she’d be interested to travel to Egypt to cover the 2011 uprising.
At the time, she had little idea of the true meaning of “war”.
“The countless political upheavals, conflicts, uprisings, protests, killings and forced mass migrations I’ve witnessed throughout the Middle East, Africa and Europe during decades of conflict zone coverage have served to inflate my volume of questions around a universal meaning to or purpose for war,” said Fried.
In a war, no one is really a bystander. As a war correspondent, Fried intimately understands that her life is in danger, and she is a microcosm of the many veteran correspondents who have lived through dangerous times.
What should be done to heal the wounds inflicted on the innocent by war? How should those who bore witness release their guilt and bewilderment? Fried found her own way.
“To try and make sense of the gun, mortar and missile fire snuffing out lives, reducing cities to rubble and forcing millions into homelessness in an instant, I’ve turned, throughout the years, to academic citations, literary commentary, philosophy, historical analysis and beyond.”
Common sense is the same in any language. In an era of increasingly close exchange between China and foreign countries and interconnected human destiny, poetry is an important catalyst for arousing emotional resonance and an exceptional conduit for realizing shared cultural learning between China and foreign countries.
The global “Read a poem” online campaign is a central component of CGTN’s multilingual integrated product “Poetry Sans Frontiers”.
“Poetry Sans Frontiers” uses poetry to express love, friendship, courage, praise for nature, and yearning for peace. Netizens can post a video of themselves reading poems with the theme of love and peace with the hashtag #readapoem and tag @CGTN.
The products will be distributed globally on all CGTN platforms as global poetry collection activities and poetry-related documentaries, among other concepts, to promote emotional person-to-person exchange among nations.