“I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” ―Malala Yousafzai
New song ‘Listen to Women’ inspired by International women day and youth strikes, singing circles with Extinction rebellion families, Stroud Sacred music festival with relaxation recording and sharing with young Stroud artists and Caribbean singer Omer Makessa. Back in London, family Sangha and upcoming evenings of songs with FOTN BBC6Music at Jackson Lane community arts centre in London and aboutabear tour coming by Grove Park our community.
Through June and July so far, I’ve had so many moving moments connected to women and young people, I felt I would theme my post; beginning with this quote from Malala; young human writes speaker who came to the attention of many for her Nobel Peace prize; Malala has promoted education for women and children in Pakistan, despite being under threat from some who disagreed with her ideas, she was shot for these beliefs and survived.
Listen to Women came to be from these ideas, that the voices of women and children I hear speak of nurture, the earth, of a shared, loving life. While I’m aware it’s broad to say, when I think of Men, I think often of business, of competition, aggression and power. Statistics show 70-80 percent of violent crimes are committed by men and the vast majority committed by women are in self defence against men – something I feel I must hold in my heart.
I grew up at the time of the Gulf War, I remember seeing news stories, numbers of deaths; I remember thinking why are all these men killing each other. My mum responded to an advert at the time to write to one of the soldiers, I remember we received these letters a few times from someone who I’m sure was younger than I am now, then it stopped. I remember he drew pictures of planes and I wonder what happened to him.
Writing not long after the First World War Emeline Pankhurst, known for suffragette work, said this
“We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half.”
I feel the spirit of Emeline would be pleased of the social movements of the last 100 years and still say we had work to do, I wonder what you think?
This is a live recording of the song- thank you to Naomi Kate for Cello and to Sarah Gosling at BBC Introducing for playing this on her show back in June
Twice since I last journaled I’ve sang for the Extinction Rebellion families group; an ever-growing gathering of families engaged with the planning and action of the campaigns. First outside the National History Museum where (inside) a dinner was taking place for fossil fuel sponsorship of the museum itself. Second at the Royal Courts of Justice where those gathered asked for Ecoside to be made law.
Motioned by Great Thunberg (thank you Sophie for the mural from Bristol that went up in June) the Friday school strikes are also still happening.
For when it comes around again next year I’d like to recommend the Stroud Sacred Music Festival for anyone interested in song, dance, community, interfaith and international arts. I had the honour of being the youth mentor this year co hosting the youth stage with the lovely Nell Kellino-Miller (pictured bottom right) and together with a with group of brave/ gently persuaded audience members and performers beginning the evening concert in front of the main stage, opening for Scripture Says Acappella, Baka Beyond, Omer Makessa Kakatsitsi, Master Drummers from Ghana Matthew Heyse-Moore, Bob Hillary and others
All events are on donation and it’s organised for the love of it by the Rev Simon Howell, Ali Shepherd of Ragababas, Katie and Kieran Harris to name the few of the volunteers that I know.
Sounds from Stroud and Relaxation
Back in London, I want to show you a film I’m in showing a project by friends of mine giving families a space once a month to explore meditation and mindfulness together. The family sangha, inspired by the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, Plum Village runs once a month this film made by the lovely Conscious Film Co says it all .
Begun by BBC6 Music’s Tom Robinson, Fresh on the Net is a community page that invites artists to share music with each other and Tom and team on a weekly rotation. The atmosphere is supportive and I’ve found it inspiring, I’m touched to have been asked to this years Fresh On the Net festival at The Jackson Lane Arts Centre on Sunday 21st of July, Ill be on the acoustic stage, upstairs at the theatre about 9.30.
A week later our community, Grove Park, are hosting About a bear to keep them safe (James Mason pictured below) on his latest tour, we are planning a day of community gardening followed by the show and a fire in the evening, all are welcome, get in touch if you would like more details.
For other upcoming dates please go to the events menu above a few appearances and workshops in England and a peace, mindfulness and arts creativity retreat at the Plum Village centre in Germany that is now open for booking.
(The above link is for our Wake Up Your Artist page, our young adults (18-35ish) year olds, this next one an all ages retreat we are trying out, meditations, workshops and group work around peace, emotions, creativity and our art in the world.)
To close some flower pictures from our community – opened these last few weeks.