Voices for Change

12 Oct

 

Harvesting the Fruits of Solidarity

 

I subscribe to a great wordpress blog called What Gives, one that offers a daily dose of optimism by shining light onto a series of wonderful projects, many of them set up by regular folk who are just trying to help others. A particular favourite was one that rescued baby elephants. Others showcased Room to Read, the Little Flowers School for children in India too poor to pay school fees, and yet another, One World Futbol, that brought unbreakable plastic soccer balls to impoverished youngsters around the world. Recently, tho’, I was inspired by one on something called the Voice Project to investigate further and come up with an article for the Toronto Star.

The Voice Project not only offers viewers truly amazing video clips of musicians singing to support a cause – in this case, women in northern Uganda who are trying to bring home family members press-ganged into Joseph Kony’s notorious Lord’s Resistance Army. It also introduces to people like me the talents and integrity of a great many superb musicians one might have heard of before.

But aside from that, it provides a glimpse into the connect between art or music and honest (as opposed to press-hungry) solidarity. As Bedouin Soundclash bass guitarist Eon Sinclair told me during the interview I did with him for the article, “I think that as artists we are afforded a real opportunity to really create awareness of some things, whether you like it or not. You have a platform to do it. Not everyone chooses to do it but think the three of us,” he added, referring to the band, “have grown up somewhat socially conscious with some reference for our environment and the people that inhabit it as well. So whenever we have those opportunities we try to think critically about how we can help.”

As the article states, the band chose a song by K’naan, another extraordinary talent, who Canada has adopted as its own despite the fact he was born in war-torn Somalia. K’naan not only contributes a lot to important causes – his producer, Sol Guy, frequently speaks in schools about the power of culture in effecting social change  – but often addresses social, race and I would say even political issues head on in his art.

In fact, art and music can sustain and entertainment us, and also work as powerful weapons against status-quo thinking. “From the moment that we are able to step in front of a group of people,” said Eon, “and have them appreciate the music and take it in, you realize how powerful that medium actually is. Having a great speech or a powerful quote is a great thing to be lasting, but a melody or a rhythm seems to be able to quickly penetrate people.”

So aside from the link to my article, do yourself the favour of checking out The Voice Project at http://www.voiceproject.org

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One Response to “Voices for Change”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Year Begins with a Song … « Global Kiosk - January 10, 2012

    […] means that today’s posting is pretty simple. Visitors to the Global Kiosk might recall a previous posting about a wonderful and unique effort on the part of an organization called The Voice Project to […]

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