On May 10, 2017, we had the pleasure of spending time with artist Margot S. Neuhaus at her home and studio in Sperryville, Virginia. Margot shared how she expresses the issues of oppression in her work—wood sculpture, etched stone, printed paper, photography, and acrylic on canvas.
Margot’s current series, titled “Outcry”, is an expression of not only her crying out about the injustice and oppression that are going on in the world, this country, and that she and her family experienced, but she believes that she is also a channel, a speaker for many. It’s not only her voice, it’s the voice of many.
Pittsburgh producer Jose Muniain shared with us his story of poet Huang Xiang, considered to be the pre-eminent post cultural revolution poet of China.Huang Xiang was born in Hunan Province, China, in 1941. His unceasing bravery, in the face of sure re-imprisonment, and further torture, forced him to leave his homeland.
Huang began writing poems in the 1950s and has been imprisoned repeatedly for his work. In 1978, he founded “Enlightenment,” the first underground writers’ society, and started a literary magazine with the same title. In exile in the United States since 1997, he was also a resident poet in Pittsburgh under the Cities of Asylum program for writers.
Produced in 2016, “Today We Sing” is a music video, directed by Yousef Nateel, that shows us the realities of life in the Gaza Strip. As described by teifidancer, the music video shows us a place “where electricity flows for just eight hours each day, in this open prison where 1.8 million Palestinians are now contained. Many young Gazan musicians and singers are starved of permanent performance spaces, but despite bombardment, explosions, rockets, violence, struggle, terror, borders, all these restrictions, increasingly many are now using the internet to display their talents and share their messages of hope, peace, and freedom to the world.”
Sweden’s Riksteatern Värmland (the Rik), the National Touring Theater of Sweden, implemented the project to teach 17 participants music theory and music production. These young musicians who are unable to find jobs in the Gaza Strip, paid with the little money they had for their musical efforts. Thanks to the support of the Rik who provided the project with portable studios, these young musicians can share music on social media so that others may hear their songs. This documentary tells their story.