Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Space for Peace

On Sunday I met up with ten other artists to participate in an inter-faith event at Winchester Cathedral. This is the information from the Cathedral website:

"Space for Peace"

Space for Peace will bring together local and national choirs, community choirs and school choirs to sing from Jewish, Christian, other faiths and secular sources to create a musical vigil for peace. With a theme of “Listen for Peace” music will be shared from a wide variety of religious and secular sources proving that we can work together to create peace.
Choral and religious groups will be situated around the Cathedral, each with their own repertoire of musical material, using the cathedral as a resonant meditative space. The vigil will be created by the participants on the basis of choice. Each group will choose when to sing and also be invited to sing by the congregation. The congregation will move around the building, lighting candles, praying and participating in creating the overall musical sound.
Admission is free but there is a retiring collection for the St Ethelburga Centre for Reconciliation and Peace."

(I know the St Ethelburga's  Centre, on Bishopsgate in the City of London. I was there last year when the Greenbelt Festival Trustees met to consider artistic vision for the Festival and the year-round presence of Greenbelt as a catalyst for creativity in the realms of faith, justice and the arts. I am privileged to be involved with this movement.)

Kimvi Nguyen curated the meditative performance aspect of the event. Each artist received a bowl of matchsticks and was asked to place these on the floor in a reflective and performative meditation during the two hours of the event.

This is to commemorate the Holocaust;
Am I laying down the tracks of a railway?
How easy to make a way for death; 
to comply.
The line becomes our story.
Meandering, like life.
There is freedom and vitality in its choosing.
Lines converge; adjust to accommodate the other.
The Cantor sings the bottomless depth of sorrows.
Be still.
Commemorating the innocent who died? Who decides who is innocent?
May I ask you about this?
It is beautiful - what is it?
What is this type of art called?
What is it about?
What is the concept behind this piece?
Do they represent individual people?
Shalom, my friend. Or if it is more acceptable to you, Salaam.
Will the lines meet?
Do they confront?
Which is right, and which out of place?
Is there room for difference?
Can something grow from our touching one another's lives?
Being human.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful writing Peter!

    Who decides who is innocent? A good question.
    We are all guilty and innocent. It is a sad truth.
    We have choices. But we need to be conscious.
    What to do when we have become so dependant on governing powers?
    Our natural instinct for survival hinders our humane obligations towards one another.