Nearly five hours filled with performances of music, dance, spoken-words and films by artists from a diverse cultural heritage showed their anger, frustration against the ongoing violence and expressed their solidarity with the people of Ukraine, writes Prof. Geetha Upadhyaya
Curated by Ahmed Kaysher, the Director of Saudha, a series of haunting performances by a galaxy of 52 artists was presented at the Rich Mix theatre, East London. Kaysher said, “The event actually showcased the impact of the violence and war on artists’ imaginations and their responses against the current invasion of Russia in Ukraine as well as all forms of violence happening all around the world.
Nearly five hours filled with performances of music, dance, spoken-words and films by artists from a diverse cultural heritage showed their anger, frustration against the ongoing violence and expressed their solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
Poet and playwright John Farndon, who has been translating Ukrainian literature for many years, said ” This is simply a horror that no-one can just ignore. What can we writers do now against this invasion? The painful answer is not much. And this helplessness is even more depressing.”
A leading South Asian singer Gouri Chowdhury said “Could anyone have imagined a shameless aggression like this in 21 century? These atrocities almost became a TV show now. Ukraine is burning but it should have burnt the hearts of the global community, and the world should do more to stop this..”
Poet and theatre-activist Amy Neilson Smith, read her poem of powerful verses ” Our hearts stop, Thoughts of leaking breasts, torn tectonic plates, as fresh eggs are cracked, cooked & served on Putin’s cold plate.” .
Poet and fictionist Mona Dash ended her beautiful poem with hope – “By now, we know enough, to know, we must stop war! May the sunflowers bloom, the nightingales sing soon in Ukraine.”
Writer and composer Peter Culshaw who has written quite often about Ukraine for Guardian, Songlines, Odessa Review said, “Ukraine is a special place between a backward looking tired Europe and Russia run by an autocratic psychopath. The invasion was unprovoked as an imperialist fever dream. Ukraine a democratic, free, culturally rich country and had to be stamped on but will surely prevail.
“It was an incredible event with a true international mix of a wide variety of performances against war” that’s how Anastasiya Belovoba described the event.
BBC slum champion poet David Lee Morgan said, “The Ukrainian people are historically fighting back against a criminal and cowardly Russian invasion”.
Art & culture is the only thing that can spread peace everywhere! Saudha’s work & collectiveness are essential, inspiring & using art to conquer war mentality.”
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