Wednesday 4th NovemberFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: George Gittoes’ will deliver the City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture titled ART AND NOT WAR on Tuesday 10 November

On Tuesday 10 November renowned Australian artist and filmmaker George Gittoes AM will be awarded the 2015 Sydney Peace Prize at Sydney Town Hall.

Sydney Town Hall will come alive on the evening, with a highly symbolic puppet spectacle created by recipient George Gittoes’, who will also deliver a thought-provoking lecture on the theme of Art and Not War.

“Trillions of dollars were spent in Iraq and Afghanistan to teach the young to use guns and rockets and all we see is more war,” says George Gittoes. “In Jalalabad, we have been teaching how to use cameras and creative arts to bring peace and we are winning.

“My talk will remind those who see the news and feel pessimistic that I have witnessed peace come over and again with great triumphs of the human spirit in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and East Timor. I am an optimist and believe that in our lifetimes we will see it return to the Middle East. Art not war!”

“Despite venturing into some of the darkest corners of human experience, George Gittoes has not lost hope, nor has he lost his compassion for others. Instead, he has used art not only to record, but to offer hope to others. He shows us what, with courage and conviction, we could be,” says Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, who will be presenting the Prize to Gittoes on Tuesday evening.

A puppet spectacle featuring 4 original hand-made works by George Gittoes and choreographed by master puppeteer Gavin James, will compliment the lecture. Four puppeteers and professional dancers will be directing a puppet representing angels of peace and a puppet representing the demons of war throughout the Sydney Town Hall vicinity. These 12 ft high dancing puppets are symbolic not only of peace conquering war, but also of the puppets Gittoes created in his youth in Rockdale to raise money for the Red Cross.

There will also be a musical performance by organist Cameron Bruce with Gittoes’ partner and co-founder of the Yellow House Jalalabad, performance artist Hellen Rose, reflective of the pair’s travels in the pursuit of peace.

The Sydney Peace Prize 2015 jury citation reads: George Gittoes AM: For exposing injustice for over 45 years as a humanist artist, activist and filmmaker, for his courage to witness and confront violence in the war zones of the world, for enlisting the arts to subdue aggression and for enlivening the creative spirit to promote tolerance, respect and peace with justice.

Tickets to the City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture and Celebratory Dinner are available now through Ticketek http://ticketek.com.au/sydneypeaceprize/

George Gittoes is available for interview, and media tickets to the lecture are available. Contact Katie Mayor on katiemayors@gmail.com or 0433 915 625.

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