A Peace of My Mind: Exploring the meaning of peace one story at a time
“John Noltner takes us on a unique journey filled with revelations of courage and commitment, resilience and hope. It is a beautiful journey that speaks to our innermost being…perhaps it will inspire us to become peacemakers.”– Ela Gandhi, from the foreword for A Peace of My Mind
“A Peace of My Mind” is a documentary project that asks the simple question, “What does peace mean to you?”
Since 2009, I have photographed and interviewed Holocaust survivors, refugees, political leaders, artists, homeless individuals, and others, asking them to share what peace means to them, how they work toward it in their lives and what obstacles they encounter along the way. Through portraits and personal stories, this heart-felt collection acknowledges the challenges we face as a society, yet builds hope through the inspiring stories of people committed to peaceful tomorrows.
In a world that often asks us to focus on the things that can separate us, A Peace of My Mind asks us to consider the common humanity that connects us.I don’t suggest that we will solve every problem, or that the solutions will come quickly.
Peace is a long-term commitment that requires daily practice. If we expect monumental changes to occur quickly we set ourselves up for disappointment. We will most certainly continue to bump into one another as we move through our lives. But we can hope to make peace a part of our everyday consciousness…to be fully aware of our options so that when we do bump into one another, we can make choices that move us toward reconciliation and understanding, rather than leading us toward the temptations of antagonism and misinformation.
The goal of this project it not to discover all of the answers, but to open a space where we can explore ideas together…and through that process of exploration together, we will eventually find the answers.