The goal of the first attempt to realize the Qafila-t-as-Salam was potable water for everyone.
The Dialogue of the Cultures and its art should above all create a consciousness that potable water is the top priority of a civilised world that wishes to be known as such. The fact is, that 60% of humanity has no access to potable water, although that has been technically possible for a long time. Meanwhile, while others look for water on other planets, countless human beings, especially children, die every day for lack of it on earth. Potable water is the irreducible bottom line of human equality, not only for those of us from the industrial world. After all, there is no need to build schools for those who die from drinking contaminated water before they can attend a school.
Although in the past cultural institutions like the Goethe Institute or German political figures like Herta Däubler-Gmelin, Wolfgang Clement or former President Johannes Rau vigorously supported the Culture Caravan, the first attempt failed because political forces which were in a position to push it through preferred the force of arms to dialogue. We are speaking here about the former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who declined to support the Peace (Peace or Culture?) Caravan for reasons pertaining to the security situation in Sudan. The »Green Party « thereby supported the deployment of military force instead of dialogue.
Today, ten years later, under pressure from the West, Sudan is divided, the Arab Spring was turned into a Winter because of its religious constraints, and the peaceful county of Mali was overrun by internationally operating gangs armed with weapons "Made in Europe". The Libyan dictator was toppled with the help of the same NATO which furnished him with billions of dollars' worth of weapons. Countless people live in these crisis regions where there is no access to potable water – and no lack of weapons which we provide. That's why the goal of Qafila-t-as-Salam as Salam is:
Water, Not Weapons.
Those involved are called upon to make conscious this connection on a global level with all the intellectual, artistic and communicative means available to them. If every human being has access to potable water, then they will not need weapons.
The financing of the caravan (100 million Euro) would be a matter for the petty cash drawer of European Industry, truly 'peanuts'. If the armaments industry had believed in the efficacy of its 'Peace Keepers' (Anspielung auf dem Sprichwort für ein 45 Kaliber Colt, bekannt gemacht von Ronald Reagan), the result has provided abundant proof of the contrary. Now that industry should be the first to step up to the plate and finance the Caravan. And above all Germany should let no one prevent it from making the greatest effort to take the step from shooting to talking.
Christof Wackernagel for the Caravan Team.