MASS FOR THE OPPRESSED was written by Alaskan composer Emerson Eads in response to the release of four Native Alaskans, known as The Fairbanks Four, from prison after eighteen years of wrongful incarceration. They were released in December of 2015 with no chance to seek any reparations from the state of Alaska.
When accepting our request to share "Mass for the Oppressed" with us, Emerson wrote, "Indeed oppression is oppression, no matter if it is in Alaska, or in Eastern Europe, and any attempt to draw attention to marginalized groups, combines the voices of oppressed and makes them harder to ignore."
“Through the Eye of the Needle” explores the capacity of the human heart to heal. It is a story about Esther Nisenthal Krinitz resilience and response to persecution during the Nazi occupation in Poland and the preservation of memory through her art. The Art and Remembrance Foundation, founded by Esther's daughter, Bernice Steinhardt, helps us remember that "genocide and other acts of baseless hatred are still with us, and that Esther’s story, and those like hers, compels us to build a just and peaceful world for all".
What does “The Right to Peace” mean to you?
To UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Service), peace is achieved by creating a safe environment for people to live in, without the threat posed by explosive hazards.
Arts, especially in the form of music, is another way of promoting peace. Maestro Karim Wasfi and UNMAS in Iraq (September 2018) joined efforts to promote explosive violence reduction and reconstruction. Maestro is playing the cello in the destroyed buildings of Al Shifa Hospital Complex where approximately 2,000 explosive hazards were removed by UNMAS.
Patricia Hall, a music theory professor at the University of Michigan, unearthed music manuscripts arranged and performed by prisoners at Autschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. The full story was published by NPR on December 2, 2018.
Margot S. Neuhaus shares tells us about "Coming Full Circle", an exhibit of her artwork in two series, "In Memoriam" and "Light Motives". "Coming Full Circle" will be on exhibit at the Galicia Museum and the Jewish Community Center in Krakow, Poland as part of the Jewish Culture Festival, June 23-July 1, 2018.
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.