Peter Seeger, an American singer and activist died on January 27. Pete was an example of someone who used art as a way to create the change he wished to see in the world. The famous American civil rights song “We Shall Overcome”, which was sung by the Freedom Riders, can be traced back to Seeger. Seeger had a way of using music to bring people together, and as a gentle and peaceful way to fight for some very big changes in the world. Listen to “We Shall Overcome” by Pete Seeger, 1963 Pete Seeger – We shall overcome
There are many modern examples of people who use art to communicate a message of change: New York City’s famous street artist Banksy, the Bogside Mural artists of Northern Ireland, and some would say the Twitter and Vine users of the Arab Spring.
The Global Youth Village encourages participants to use art in a similar fashion – as a tool to speak one’s mind and spread powerful and positive messages across young people’s community and the world. Participants of this summer’s Arts & Human Rights Workshop, will learn how these and other artists and community leaders have used visual art, music, theater and social media in ways to have their voices heard and visions seen. Participants will also have the opportunity to create their own art to speak their personal views, values and dreams. Learn more about this year’s international summer program
Kristen Winter, Art Director at the Global Youth Village, speaks about the connection between the arts and human rights and how art can draw even diverse people together.
“Throughout our history, art and the plight of human rights have been deeply intertwined. The value of art lies in its universality as a tool for communication and empowerment. At its core, art making embodies true freedom, acting as a vehicle for expression against oppression and injustice. Images, movement, and sounds provide a powerful voice through which to be heard, and a peaceful medium through which to be seen.
The opportunity for participation in art-based community projects, both at home and abroad, introduced me to the powerful connections between art and the human condition. In working alongside musicians at a refugee camp in Mozambique, youth dancers affected by HIV in South Africa, and emerging artisans at rehabilitation centers in Ghana, I witnessed the healing effects of creative expression, and its ability to harness hope in the midst of insurmountable challenges.
Art making can aid in restoring strength at both individual and community levels, while elevating the collective consciousness on an international platform. Over time, its enduring quality serves as a continued reminder of the humanity we share.”
Seeger ‘s music elevated the collective consciousness during the 1960s as his songs helped American citizens realize that all are equal and deserve dignity and respect. Countless other musician, artist and performers have done similar work, using art as a form of expression and a tool for peace, justice and change.
The Arts & Human Rights Workshop at GYV invites you to join the ranks of these famous artist and activists. Join us this summer and have your voice heard through your art!
Contact Jen for more information by email or phone