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.
Regular meetings of the International Zone group are held. The representatives of the International Zone group are responsible for liaising with L'Avenir, the Auroville Planning and Development body.
Various Pavilion groups have been inspired to renew their efforts: India , Russia , France , United States , Britain , Italy , Spain , Germany and Africa . Four new Pavilion groups have been formed representing Korea , Switzerland , Scandinavia and Kazakhstan . Some Pavilion groups hold office spaces in the Unity Pavilion. Auroville International (AVI) and the Auroville Volunteer & Internship Service (AVIS) have offices in the Unity Pavilion. Youth programs and activities are coordinated and held at Unity pavilion. The University of Human Unity is meeting once a week for an interactive session and hopes to offer and coordinate learning programs in the near future.
A series of 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 taken place in 2004 and 2005. In depth studies of Sri Aurobindo and Mothers writings on Oneness, Unity, Culture, Evolution and Education have been undertaken and are documented by the research team of the International Zone and now available in 2 booklets.
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 office building of the Unity Pavilion, where it will remain until it can be moved to its permanent home in the Hall of Peace (next to UP main building). A silent meditation on 4-4-04 welcomed the table and the atmosphere of peace was very tangible to all. As the work related to Pavilions, AVI, youth and University is rapidly increasing, the table sits there in the middle and is getting more and more squeezed between offices and activities. It is obvious that it is imperative to start building the Hall of Peace as soon as possible to finally give this beautiful and special table an adequate home. Some donations have been received for the purpose. Please see separate information on Hall of Peace.
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. For the main building (which will consist of a multi purpose hall, exhibition area and study spaces) the construction was supposed to have started in spring 2004. Due to a delay of funds for all CIRHU projects from the Government of India, the work has been delayed, although all plans and drawings are ready and approved and the foundations have been dug. We hope that the funding will be made available in 2009.
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:
One of the functions of the Unity Pavilion in the International Zone is to organize and support student programs. These programs 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 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.