ARTICLE: Latin-American Rhythms for Peace
November 2013, The Raglan, Muswell Hill.
On a chilly Autumn evening in North London, there was one place where the warmth of South America was glowing. Musicians from Peru, Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia were sharing their exceptional talents to an appreciative crowd - all in the name of peace.
This was the latest initiative by Celebrate Life Events, who put on popular music and peace events all over London. For this Latin-American themed event they teamed up with local artist and Spanish teacher, Carolina Graterol.
The idea was to create a fun, informal evening sharing South-American music the traditional way: bringing the local community together as Carolina remembered from her childhood in Venezuela. In her own words: ‘Music equals community, and it’s in community where peace can flourish and stay.’
The event was pulled together at short notice and wouldn’t have happened at all if not for the help of many people. Enthusiastic leafleting in the area and through letterboxes of nearby houses, brought a good crowd, along with spreading the word online and among friends.
This event combined art as well as music, thanks to Carolina’s art installation which became the backdrop onstage, and a collaboration with Arts4Giving, a collective of local artists, who contributed a selection of beautiful paintings for the peace quotes slideshow shown throughout.
The short film on peace was not hard to source. Prem Rawat’s message is well-known and loved in South America, and there were many clips to choose from. In the end, an extract from the TV interview between Prem Rawat and Fernando Mauro Trezza seemed the best choice as it included some inspiring and thought provoking answers to questions such as: ‘Is peace possible?’ and ‘Why is peace so important to you?’
This was one of the highlights of the event along with Diego Laverde’s stunning and intricate harp playing, Jose Navarro’s Peruvian puppets, and Martha Acosta’s wonderful Latin American folk songs which everyone knew by heart.
By the end of the night the good feeling in the room was palpable and many people expressed their appreciation for such a unique and heart-warming event. Fortunately the evening was filmed in high quality, so that a lasting reminder of what a special night it was can now be shared with everyone