I am having a great experience teaching a monographic of six workshops on Protest Songs at the Brompton Cemetery. This is a colaboration between the Brompton Cemetery, Radio Days Music and Sing to Live, Live to Sing (RBKC), funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, to Commemorate 100 years since women got the vote in UK.
Having the opportunity to lead a wonderful team of women (and one man!), and interwaving the singing activity with the talks from a social historian, Chris Hutchison (my husband), we are going through a history of singing protest in Britain, starting with songs from the peasants revolt (14th Century) and it will take us in the last two sessions to songs from the suffragist movement and to 20th Century and contemporary protest songs.
But not just that. This is an opportunity to think about why humans sing to protest, Why should we want to put our complaints in a song? and opening the debate about women’s rights and what is still to achieve by women in this time and age, sharing experiences with this fantastic group, and getting in touch with the energy of the protest before and during song. Protest can be that moment when your teacher told you where doing something totally ridiculous and you didn’t dare to answer, but felt you would have. Or when you did. Getting in touch with that many times we did protest or we should have, and expressing it through our bodies and our voices.
Today I asked the group,
“Who does protest?” –
and amongst many different options, like “those who are dispossesed” or “those who want some basic human rights” or “those who don’t want to loose some priviledge” or “those who feel their survival is at risk”, etc etc…
I also got
“Those who dare” and
“Those who are confident”,
I would like to think that getting in contact with our protesting beings will help us grow as confident individuals, as people who dare to ask what they need, instead of making us simply angry. But even if angry, at times, remember that anger will get increased blood flow to your extremities in preparation for physical activity: then we are ready for a battle, for a march, for action!
But actually, we come out of every session relaxed and with a sense of liberation.
On 21st June we will have our final performance at the Bromton Cemetery, and it’s still possible to join. Get more information about it here.