Batuz did something that most people don't even dare to think possible. He went to Afghanistan, bringing the ideas of Société Imaginaire to one of the most conflict ridden regions in the world. Batuz disregarded his own safety and the warnings of military experts about the high security risk involved in the project. His safety played no role for him. It was important for him to see his ideas come to life.
Some might find his way of thinking utopian but Batuz is trying to make the world a better place for living. And with his whole heart he really believes in his noble pursuits for peace. He has devoted his life to overcoming borders, contributing to a more peaceful world.
Batuz found that it is high time to make an example through his personal engagement precisely in the most complicated conflict ridden region. For many long years Afghanistan has been shaken by war, conflicts and economic distress. And now there is a strong desire for peace and stability. Afghanistan, a country defined by borders, consisting of 34 provinces with dozens of dialects and ethnic groups, is the most convincing example where the methods of Société Imaginaire can be applied.
In the military camp in Mazar-e Scharif there are over a thousand local workers. But they have no real contact, no relation to the soldiers there. Batuz showed that this could be changed. That those people can forget the conflicts and overcome their differences for the sake of a good common goal.
The Afghanistan project was successful! Batuz managed to persuade soldiers from 15 different nations and Afghan civilians to take part in the action. More than 48 officers and 60 Afghan workers voluntarily participated in the creation of a tremendous piece of art. Forming a human chain representing "the border" and then dissolving it symbolically showed that man is the one that makes borders and that man is the one that can make them disappear!
But creating a huge piece of art and taking a nice photo of it was not the main goal. We should not miss the essence of the project - the human aspect. Building a connection between the soldiers and afghan civilians was much more important - to overcome borders between people. This was symbolically done by sharing Afghan bread and embracing each other - a sign of friendship and a hope for a better future.
Not only did Batuz achieve to get 15 different nations and the Afghan population together but he also managed to establish a lasting dialogue with military, educational and religious leaders as well as Afghan civilians. Batuz was overwhelmed by the interest and attention shown to him by the Afghan personalities he met, including the Governor of Balkh - Atta Mohammed Noor, the head of the Blue Mosque in Mazar-e Sharif - Haji Atiqullah, the Chancellor of Balkh University - Prof. Habibulla Habib, and numerous others. This will help for a continuous cultural exchange and better understanding.
We can make a change. Our efforts are not in vain. We need to raise our eyes from our limited surroundings and start to think globally, to realize that everything is connected and what we do matters. We need to take care of our world and give the chance for a brighter future.
Batuz - a single man with a strong will, showed us that it is possible!