The United Nations General Assembly established in June 2007 the International Day of Non-Violence, which was commemorated this past tuesday 2 October, in honour of the birth of the Indian Independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, a great promoter of the philosophy of non-violence.
Active non-violence challenges the idea that violence should be met with more violence (fighting fire with fire, so to speak), but it also challenges the belief that non-violent actions are passive actions, and that non-violent people are people that stay out of conflicts. Instead, it is a kind of direct action which refuses violence, usually through non-violent civil disobedience, explicit denunciation and boycott of violent actions, the use of mediation and arbitration techniques to resolve conflicts, and even peaceful demonstrations.
It is all too easy to fall into the trap of complacency and take holidays like the Day of Non Violence for granted. At Libros de las Malas Compañías, we want to do our part in helping to raise awareness of the importance of active nonviolence, and we are committed to making visible the voices of those who suffer from violent acts. So, we leave you with some recommendations from us to appreciate non-violent action this week:
The illustrated album Brothers in Syria, from our collection People tell stories too, tells the story of two brothers separated in the midst of a bombing. This book makes us understand what war is and why we must actively oppose it.
In The True Story of a Mouse Who Never Asked for It, an oral tradition tale about the true story of the boastful little rat (who really wasn't that boastful), issues such as gender-based violence are addressed in an allegorical way.
From our Black Series collection, The Rabbit Tales are stories we have collected from albino people in Mozambique, who suffer all kinds of exclusion and violence because of their condition. This book seeks to demonstrate that albino people in Africa are not spirits, but people, just like everyone else. From the same collection we also offer Tales of the hedgehog (or the Mini Black Series version, Five hedgehogs and a goat), stories collected from the Saharawi camps, a people who have been forced from their land and suffer thanks to occupation and displacement.
Last, but certainly not least, we recommend Prince’s Journey. Prince flees the war in Cameroon, and in this book he recounts the mistreatment, the institutional racism, the discrimination and other types of violence he suffers on his journey to Spain.