ARTICLE: Peacemakers in Streatham
September 2015, The Hideaway Jazz Cafe, Streatham
On Sept 17th Celebrate Life Events returned to the Hideaway Venue in Streatham for the fourth consecutive year as part of Little Big Peace Festival. The festival was founded by Mel Larsen back in 2011, inspired by the film ‘Peace One Day’. It’s a remarkable initiative in South London and one that could easily be replicated all over London.
For this event, CLE approached the festival with a different idea, we decided to show an inspiring documentary between Ambassador for Peace, Prem Rawat, and London urban ‘spoken word’ poet Mr Gee. They had met at the Pledge to Peace event held in the Houses of Commons in June 2014, and plans were put in place for an interview/discussion between them about peace and the world we live in, drawing on both their life and work experiences. The resulting footage was made into a two-part documentary, called Peacemakers. We were delighted that Mr Gee was available to be part of the event, performing some of his poetry, being part of the panel discussion and answering questions about his involvement in the documentary, interviewing Prem Rawat.
The evening opened with a song from Burundian musician, Mudibu, who is also chairman of the Burundian community in London. This was followed by the film screening and panel discussion.
The panel consisted of Mr Gee, Mudibu, Helen Brown, an international aid worker, and Cathy Watts, a therapist and promoter of peace. They began by summarising their own life journeys, bearing in mind the topic of the evening.
Each panel member spoke with passion, depth and honesty about what they individually had learned in life and it was both humbling and inspiring to hear them speak. There was time for three or four questions from the audience which took the conversation into new areas.
To wrap up the evening, Mudibu and Mr Gee performed an impromptu collaboration mixing song and poetry together.
About eighty people attended the event, a very comfortable number for the size of the venue. The Hideaway once again provided an ideal setting, as well as delicious food, and people left with plenty to think about and a fresh perspective on peace.
Some of the comments left in our feedback book are included below:
‘Amazing evening! Thank you.’
‘First time and it was an amazing evening. Thank you! Sharna x’
‘An inspiring, thought-provoking evening full of creative talent plus a lovely atmosphere. Thanks team, Emily & Ken’
‘Always a fabulous time attending The Little Big Peace. Spread the peace!! Patrice, from Rwanda’
‘What a wonderful event. It was a pleasure to learn so many things. I’m leaving here with a new perspective on peace. I must have peace within me before I can give peace to others. Thank you, Sonia Grace Uwimana’
My first experience of a Little Big Peace Event. Has left me feeling very calm and has provoked many thoughts about my own inner peace. Well done Wallee, Roni & Wendy. Peace and love, Julie’
‘Really interesting event - I learnt a lot from it and from others. Helen’
‘Another amazing an thought-provoking event - thank you for opening my mind and letting in new thoughts and beautiful music. Anna x’
Thanks to Demola for the photos.