Concept of the unity pavilion
The Hall of Peace
Auroville wants to be the first realisation
of human unity based on the teaching of Sri Aurobindo, where men of all
countries would be at home.
Auroville is planned to have four different zones
radiating out from the Matrimandir at its centre, and the International
Zone is one of them. In this zone all countries will be represented in
a concrete and living way, providing a dynamic base for Auroville's work
on realising an actual Human Unity.
The Unity Pavilion – Annual Report
Auroville wants to be the first realization of human unity based on the teaching of Sri Aurobindo, where men of all countries would be at home. (Mother, January 1972)
In the International Zone, on the future Crown road the first building of the Unity Pavilion complex is completed and actively being used. Although this was supposed to be mainly an office building for the International Zone and Pavilion groups, it is, for the time being, used as a multi-purpose space. The International Zone group has been using the building since January, 2004.
There are regular weekly meetings of the International Zone group, whose representatives are responsible for liaisoning with the Auroville Planning and Development Council. The Pavilion groups are being inspired to renew their efforts: India , Russia , France , United States , Britain , Italy , Spain , Germany , Africa , and three new Pavilion groups have been formed representing Switzerland , Scandinavia and Kazakhstan . The International Zone Planning group, as well as several of the Pavilion groups and the AVI liaison are looking into the possibility of opening their office space in the Unity Pavilion.
Five workshops on Planning and Development open to all those interested in discovering a deeper understanding of the raison d'etre of the International Zone and the national Pavilions have already taken place between January-March, 2004. These workshops form part of a larger series which will continue throughout the year and are documented as part of the work of the research team of the International Zone.
As a follow-up to the Unity Walk of February 8, 2004 , an “Intro-spection meeting” was organized in the Unity Pavilion, aiming at a deeper understanding of how to live closer to the dream of Mother. This initial meeting resulted in several groups being formed, who now meet regularly in the Unity Pavilion: some of the themes covered are: Human Interaction/Communication and Respect, Youth, and Money.
The Peace Table
The Peace Table has been shifted from the Centre for Indian Culture in Bharat Nivas and is now temporarily installed in the present building of the Unity Pavilion, where it will remain until it can be moved to its permanent home in the Hall of Peace (UP main building). A silent meditation on 4-4-04 welcomed the table and the atmosphere of peace was very tangible to all. It is very inspiring to see the energy it calls forth in these difficult times; it can already be used as a focus point for a seeking towards unity through dialogues on our most difficult topics. In this vein, the Auroville Council/Working Committee has asked that a group be formed which can hold such an environment, where difficult issues can be brought literally “to the table”, to be looked at in a very safe and protected space, in order to try to reach a deeper unity and understanding, hoping to find ways to transcend our divisive issues.
The first building was financed through donations from AVI-USA, Swiss Liaison, AVI Berlin meeting, Dimitri von Morenschildt, the Vitalis Association in France and personal donations, with 1½ lakhs still needed to complete and furnish it. For the main building (which will contain the exhibition,audio and video, lecture and meeting space and, eventually, the Hall of Peace), the construction was supposed to have started this spring. Due to a delay of funds for all CIRHU projects, the work has been delayed, although all plans and drawings are ready and approved and the foundations have been dug. We hope, seeing that within 3 months so many activities are already taking place in the Unity Pavilion, that the funding will be made available in 2005.
In our experience so far of the Unity Pavilion, we are pleased that the special atmosphere of the building has exceeded our initial vision of its use, and we hope that this continues and grows.
We hope that our dream of expressing the themes of Unity in Diversity through exhibitions, cultural activities, educational projects, guest speakers and workshops can be realized, and that the Hall of Peace, emphasizing the underlying unity behind the diversity, can be a focus point for dialogues on unity and peace.
“It is no longer towards division and difference that we should turn our minds, but on unity, union, even oneness necessary for the pursuit and realization of a common ideal…”
(Sri Aurobindo, A Message to America, 1949).
Proposed programmes and activities:
Student exchange programmes:
One of the functions of the Unity Pavilion in the International Zone is to organize and support student exchange programmes. These programmes share the common goal of developing students’ civic consciousness and raising it to a global level, and therefore promoting the ideals of human unity and understanding. In this way, mutual understanding of both the elements of our common humanity, as well as our social, cultural, political and economic
differences, is enhanced.
In the Unity Pavilion, there is an ongoing research into topics such as Human Unity, World Peace, East West Relations, Sustainable Development and Human Potential. In these areas of study, the Unity Pavilion invites participation by known experts, individuals and groups who can interact with Auroville through lectures, seminars and artistic creations. It would participate in the research towards finding “the soul of each nation” and its “dharma” – its true work, as a part of the development of humanity and the evolution of life on earth.
The Exhibition Hall:
The Exhibition Hall will present themes such as national and cultural diversity in a clear and dynamic manner. Exhibitions highlight the positive achievements of national and international initiatives for understanding, as well as giving room to explore the common roots of man on the communal, national and global level.