Words and music for peace and reconciliation

A 75th anniversary arts event - 2 July 2021

27/07/2021
Words and Music story square

 

Words and music can be powerful tools to promote peace and transformation. On 2 July 2021 they were also at the centre of the second event on in the arts programme celebrating 75 Years of Encounters at Caux. The event took part in two parts, featuring British musician William Leigh Knight and the writer and poet Yara Zgheib from Lebanon/ USA.

 

William Leigh Knight screenshot 2 July 2021
William Leigh Knight presenting the songs

 

Songs of Trance and Transformation: inheritance tracks from Caux

This was a personal selection of songs associated with Caux, performed by William Leigh Knight from the UK with accompanist, John Collis, and supported by Cath Hutchinson. William’s concept of ‘inheritance tracks’ was inspired by a feature in a British radio programme where guests are asked to share two songs – one which inspired them and one which they would like to pass on.

William started with a song he remembered from his first visit to Caux, The Cowboy Carol, and included several recent compostitions as well. He ended with Somewhere in the heart of a man from a 1950s musical, Jotham Valley, which he was asked to sing on that first visit. The story of Jotham Valley centres on a fight over access to water, an issue which is even more urgent today. William dedicated his performance to Kathleen Johnson Dodds, composer and song writer, who died earlier this year.

 

Yara Zgheib screenshot 2 July 2021
Yara Zgheib in conversation with Mary Lean

 

The Power of Poetry: changing the world by writing about truth and beauty

The second part of the event focused on the life and writing of Yara Zgheib from Lebanon and the USA. It began with a reading of her essay, On the Water, beautifully performed by Anna Macleod.

 

Anna Macleod
Anna Macleod reading Yara's essay On the Water

 

Yara was interviewed by journalist Mary Lean. As well as discussing her writing they talked about how Yara first came to Caux and the inspiration she found there. Yara initiated with Mary the 75 Years of Stories project on the IofC Switzerland website – a short story about a person or a group for each year of Caux since 1946.

As well as writing short essays on her blog, The Non-Utilitarian, Yara is a novelist. Her second novel, No land to light on, will be published next year. The story is built around the problems experienced by people caught in changes in international travel restrictions. Yara read an extract from the novel, a powerful description of the heartbreak caused by these rules. Her website is yarazgheib.com

 

Mary Lean screenshot 2 July 2021
Mary Lean during her interview with Yara

 

The recording of this event is available for those who missed it. A fun element was the way it linked us across the globe: technical support from Kenya and Eygpt, performers in Boston, USA, and the UK and a presenter in Poland. It can be quite challenging to make all this work but we are learning how to do it better each time.

 

All 75th Anniversary Arts Events

 

____________________________________________________________________________________

 

You missed the event? Watch the replay here.

 

Video: Mike Muikia

Featured Story
Off
Event Categories
75th anniversary Arts events

related stories

Anna Abdallah

1991: Anna Abdallah Msekwa – Creators of Peace

The 680 women – and some men – who packed the Main Hall of the Caux Palace for the launch of Creators of Peace 30 years ago came from 62 countries and a mind-boggling variety of backgrounds: a Mohawk ...

Lennart segerstrale fresco dining-room Water

At the Stream of Life - Reflections on the fresco of the Caux dining room

Discover the report on this summer's online event on Lennart Segerstråle’s masterpiece in the Caux dining room and watch the replay!...

King Michael of Romania, Queen Anne and young Romanians in Caux 1990

1990: King Michael of Romania – ‘Evil cannot last indefinitely’

In the summer of 1990, six months after the overthrow of Communism in their country, 30 young Romanians came to Caux. It was their first time outside the Eastern bloc, and they had been hesitant about...

Michel Orphelin acting in Caux

1989: Michel Orphelin – Theatre of the heart

In spring 1946, when the first small group of Swiss visited the derelict hotel in Caux which was to become the Initiatives of Change (IofC) conference centre, they realized its ballroom could become a...

1988 square.

1988: Joe Hakim and Marie Chaftari - ‘I am not a victim’

The Caux summer of 1988 at the Initiatives of Change conference centre began with a Mediterranean Dialogue, attended by people from all over the region, followed by a 10-day ‘youth training session’. ...

Mother Park

1987: Mother Park Chung Soo – ‘A new door began to open’

Mother Park Chung Soo, a Won Buddhist nun, has been called the ‘Mother Teresa of South Korea’. She was already involved in humanitarian work in Korea when she came to the Initiatives of Change confere...

Benches Work Week 1986

1986 - Work Week: A facelift for the Caux Palace

As plans for celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Initiatives of Change conference centre in Caux got underway, Eliane Stallybrass began to dream. In 1946 the pioneers of Caux had volunteered their...

Renée Pan photo David Channer

1985: Renée Pan – Dropping the burden of revenge

Renée Pan, a Cambodian refugee living in the US, came to Caux in 1985 on a mission – to learn how to forgive....

Amie Zysset in Caux

1984 - Amie Zysset: The great adventure

Amie Zysset from Switzerland was the heart and soul of the international family conferences which took place in Caux from 1978 through the 1980s. She died – aged only 60 – after many months in hospita...

Folker and Monica Mittag wedding

1983: Folker and Monica Mittag – Found in translation

The wedding of Folker and Monica Mittag in April 1983 resulted from an encounter in Caux ‘which changed our lives for ever’. Folker was a German businessman; Monica a Swiss interpreter. Discvoer how t...

Paul Tournier 1982 in Caux (credit: Paul Gardner)

1982: Paul Tournier – Medicine of the person

One of my most powerful memories of well over 50 years of Caux conferences comes from 1982: sitting in a translation cabin, looking down on the Great Hall, and interpreting from French into English fo...

Agnes Hofmeyr Stanley Kinga

1981: Stanley Kinga and Agnes Hofmeyr – ‘It came into my heart that I must tell her’

When Agnes Hofmeyr sat down to dinner in Caux with her compatriot, Stanley Kinga, in 1981, she had no idea of the bombshell he was about to drop....

Banner 22 July 2021 FDFA CDES square

A shared adventure between Switzerland and Africa for sustainable peace

This wonderful virtual meeting honoured the links between the Caux Forum and Switzerland on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Initiatives of Change Switzerland (IofC) and 15 years of partnership...

Choir Musical Stories

Musical Stories from Caux

‘What a magnificent presentation of stories and music’, commented one of the participants of the only in-person, by invitation, event of this year's Caux Forum Online which took place on 1 August 2021...

Su  Riddell

1980: Su Riddell – A new start in life

In July 1980, a one-man show about St Francis, Un Soleil en Pleine Nuit, premiered in Caux. It starred French mime artist Michel Orphelin, and was written by British playwright Hugh Steadman Williams,...