Amnesty at 50 Event at Queen Elizabeth Hall
On Sunday 6th May, R&T member Gabby West attended the South Bank’s ‘Chorus 2012’ event in the Front Room of the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Entitled ‘A Candle’ it comprised a set of songs of freedom to ‘celebrate’ Amnesty at 50.
"At 1.45pm I attended a workshop afternoon of a piece called ‘As the Heart Beats’ with words by Shakih Abdurraheem Muslin Dost, from his poetry, ‘Poems from Guantanamo’ set to music by Sinead Jones. It was lovely music to learn and the content, very thought provoking.
At 3.30 the main event was a concert of a set of poems or work inspired by prisoners of conscience or people suffering from imprisonment of one form or another and put to music by various composers. The one piece which was incredibly moving was by Karen Wimhurst, entitled ‘For John Harris’. John Harris, aged 27, was hanged in the Pretoria Central Prison in 1965 for his political actions. He died with the song ‘We Shall Overcome’ on his lips, and this sound poem depicted his walk to the gallows, as recounted by many fellow prisoners. It was beautifully constructed and really hit home.
The last song to be sung was ‘As the Heart Beats’ which I and others had been learning earlier in the afternoon. Friends who came really enjoyed it and said how beautiful it was.
So a good afternoon – met up with an Amnesty member from Canterbury, but no one from Richmond!"