One of the guarantees in this crazy world is that changes are coming faster than ever before and nothing will stay the same! For me, living in my paradise bubble that is Mallorca, this has meant embracing the new and dealing with the unexpected feelings that come with that. Feelings that veer from ecstasy and excitement, to oh dear – what I have got myself into this time!!
One new venture is that I am back at Mallorca Sunshine Radio with a slightly tweeked weekly show, Just Glynis, where I’ve had some awesome, interesting guests so far. One thing they’ve had in common is their quest for making this world a better place, be it through artistic endeavour, human rights activism, holistic therapies or using compassion as their day to day tool.
I had the pleasure to meet with a dozen Syrian artists who brought me to my knees in awe with their determination to be remembered as dancers and artists first and not as refugees or migrants as the defining label in their new setting, having fled from their beloved Syria in search of peace.
Now in exile in Europe, they were in Mallorca as part of the Voices of Damascus project, bringing together different artistic forms and cultures. Mohammed Diban, founder of the Harake Dance Company, worked with Andrea Cruz, a Chilean dancer and choreographer based in Mallorca, on the piece which was then shown for the first time at IncArt festival. Alongside Harake Dance Company were the boys from War & Peace, three young male hip hop dancers with an energy that brought people so much joy when they performed on the streets of Inca during the festival.
With them was the artist Fadi Yazigi who chose to stay on in Damascus when war broke out and pursue his art, not the easiest thing to do. He explained about the collective memory loss amongst the people who are still there, along with the difficulties in getting materials for his work and the fact that his art is what he needs to be able to keep in balance and to keep going. The work he was able to bring with him to exhibit here in Mallorca was the work of eleven Syrian artists who have not been able to show their art since the war started in 2011. Amongst these artists were those established before the war started and newer, emerging artists, all needing an audience.
This week I shall be interviewing representatives from ProActiva Open Arms, an NGO working tirelessly to save migrants from drowning in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. They’ll be on the show talking about their work in sea rescue and all that they’ve learned since September 2015 when it took one professional lifeguard from Badalona Catalunya to go to Lesbos to see what he could do. Since then, they have rescued just under 60,000 people fleeing war and persecution to cross into Europe where I hope they can find the peace they so desperately seek. Also with ProActiva Open Arms on the show, local theatre company Migrants will be talking about their new show, Frontera (borders) which will be performed on 21st June in the Bellver Castle in Palma and which will raise funds for the NGO. I was lucky to sit in on a rehearsal of the play this week which uses physical theatre and imagery to portray what happens to memory on this journey called life. Please support Migrants by going to see their performance and in turn you’ll be supporting ProActiva Open Arms be able to continue with their work.
If you’re in Berlin, check out both Harake Dance Company and War & Peace and enjoy the energy of these young dancers. Above all, be grateful for all that you have if you hold a European passport and enjoy employment, a home and food on your table. We have so much we take for granted, so please, in honour of our brothers and sisters who have nothing, let’s make the most of our lives and appreciate family, be generous by sharing what we have and love everyone, ourselves included, in acceptance and peace. It’ll be over before you know it!
Check out these links – like them if you can & follow and SHARE!
Harake Dance Company https://www.harakedancecompany.com
War & Peace https://www.facebook.com/War-Peace-647896672220196/
Fadi Yazigi Art http://www.fadiyazigi.com
Voices of Damascus http://www.teatreblau.eu/www.teatreblau.eu/start.html
ProActiva Open Arms https://www.proactivaopenarms.org/en
Migrants Theatre Company https://www.facebook.com/ciamigrants/
Just Glynis podcasts https://www.mallorcasunshineradio.com