The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association organized a special session entitled ‘Rock for Peace’ during the Global Peace Conference ‘Weaving a Shared Future Together’.
The online session on 19 June 2021 provided an opportunity to discuss issues of human rights, peace, protest, and reconciliation with well-known musicians as well as activists and intellectuals from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, China (Hong Kong), Poland, UK, and other countries.
The participants explored the relationship between rebel music and social movements, anti-racism, and peacebuilding. The examples included the Woodstock Festival of 1969 as a symbol of the peace movement, the Rock Against Racism campaign which emerged in reaction to racist attacks in the UK in the 1970s, the Music Against Racism movement initiated by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in Poland as well as other initiatives tackling the challenges of racism, xenophobia, and human rights abuses across the world, with a special focus on Asia.
The speakers included:
– Chris Salewicz, a London-based renowned music journalist and author of ‘Bob Marley: The Untold Story’, ‘Redemption Song: The Definitive Biography of Joe Strummer’, ‘Jimmy Page: The Definitive Biography’;
– Kyaw Kyaw, the founder and leader of ‘Rebel Riot’, a punk band from Yangon, Myanmar, who was featured in the acclaimed documentary ‘My Buddha is Punk’;
– Julien Poulson, co-founder (with the internationally recognised singer Srey Channthy) of Cambodian Space Project, a freewheeling, psychedelic Cambodian rock group which led a revival of the Cambodian music scene;
– Riz Farooqi, founder of King Ly Chee, one of the first bands to introduce hardcore punk to China, editor of Unite Asia website (Hong Kong);
– Maqsoodul Haque a.k.a. Mac Haque, the leader of Maqsood O Dhaka, the leading jazz-rock fusion band from Bangladesh, featuring strong environmental and social messages of peace, harmony and cohesion;
– Pawel Gumola, the leader of Moskwa, a legendary Polish punk band established in 1983, he also played reggae with 5000 Lat and folk with R.U.T.A., a band using historical revolutionary lyrics from the region of Eastern Europe.
The event featured a newly released video ‘One Day’ produced by Rebel Riot in the aftermath of the recent military coup in Myanmar, a new song inspiring the protesters to stand against oppression. The session ended with an informal discussion and an improvised live solo set of songs with a positive message played by Pawel Gumola.
A full recording of the session will be available on the website of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association shortly.
The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.