The Ari Ara Series Challenges The Glorification of Violence & War
We need these stories now, more than ever before.
In a culture addicted to violence, your support of Ari Ara’s novels is powerful. Ari Ara doesn’t just live in a utopia of peace. She and her friends challenge the culture of war. They use active nonviolence to halt the violence they face. They offer a radical, profound, thought-provoking counter-narrative to the ways our culture fetishizes guns, lauds war, and arms teenagers. In light of recent news, the enthusiastic response to the Community Publishing Campaign for Ari Ara’s newest novel, The Crown of Light, is all the more heartening. In one week, we’ve reached 90% of our goal. More than 100+ books are on their way to readers across the country and around the world. Every book that goes out offers a visionary challenge to the problems we face. Every person, young or older, reading Ari Ara’s adventures is one more person who breaks free of the culture of violence.
This week’s news reminded me of why it is critically important to disrupt and interrupt the culture of violence. Left unchallenged, the glorification of fighting, the intense propaganda of war, and the normalization of brutality leads to ever-escalating cycles of violence. The Ari Ara Series is designed, on each and every page, in all of her stories, to rip the veil off the glamorization of war and violence in fantasy and fiction. I’ve heard from young readers that this approach is not only working, it’s having a lasting impact. During a virtual visit at a public library, one youth said, “I never really realized how much violence is in the other books I read, but after reading Ari Ara, I see it everywhere.”
This kind of awareness is priceless. It’s exactly what young people (and everyone else) need to recognize that we’re in a “frog in boiling water” moment with violence in our culture. We’re getting so used to it that we’re encountering extreme examples and pretending we’re just taking a cozy bath.
In a world that lets a teenager literally get away with murder, in a culture that puts an assault rifle in his hands from childhood onward, in a society that defends his “right” to protect property over the right of protesters to stand up for racial justice safely, we need to intervene in the horrific cycle of violence. We have to stop the onslaught of gun fetishization and violence glorification, especially in the books, movies, and games that our kids absorb like sponges. Weapons are not “cool”. Violence is not an acceptable way to “save the day”. War is not “heroic”. They are tragic when they occur, traumatic and horrific. Until our fictional stories reflect this reality, we will continue to see young people imitating the assassins, fighters, zombie apocalypse, video game characters, etc. that they are viewing.
I write to disrupt the culture of violence, to challenge it, to provoke reflection, and to propose a different way. My stories draw upon the real-life work of thousands of nonviolent activists, peacebuilders, and peace teams. From stopping wars to ending injustice, Ari Ara shows the power of these tools and practices. Once we read her series, we see the world – and our role in it – differently.
Thank you for your support in this effort. I couldn’t do it without you. I am so grateful that you pitch in to the Community Publishing Campaign, send the books to young friends, get the series as holiday gifts, pick up extra copies for your local library, tell your circle about the newest book, and so much more. Together, we are building a culture of peace and nonviolence that is desperately needed in our times.
With deep respect and appreciation,