Satish Kumar - Peace as a Way of Life
A former Jain monk born in India; author, editor of Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine and founder of Schumacher College, Dartington, Satish is the author of ten books on aspects of peaceful and sustainable living and he has spoken at many events in countries all over the world. He has been teaching on non-violence all his life.
"My experiences over many years have taught me that without inner peace we are to be in a constant state of conflict. Trying to accumulate material possessions or social climbing without value, will tend to leave us unhappy and unfulfilled. Tolerance in what we think and do makes a big difference in our own life, and in the lives of people around us. Tolerance for others is about appreciating diversity, plurality, and the will to live and let live. A peaceful person does not use violence against other persons or animals, to great mutual benefit. In seeking to live peacefully, we change ourselves, and thus we help to change the world."
Bianca Jagger - Peace as a Human Right
Founder and president of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation.
Peace is indeed the responsibility of each and every one of us.
On the UN international Day of Peace, Bianca Jagger is unable to join us at the Ways to Peace Festival, as she needs to address the UN General Assembly Sept 20, about the serious and disturbing escalation of human rights violations in Nicaragua, her home country.
Côr Caerdydd - a leading Welsh mixed choir, singing from Karl Jenkins 'the Peacemakers'
Côr Caerdydd , 11 times winner at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, with an ongoing relationship with Welsh composer and conductor Sir Karl Jenkins, wins numerous awards and gives numerous charity performances every year. The 45 member mixed choir will be singing excerpts from Sir Karl Jenkins 'The Peacemakers', a lauded award winning work using Peace as the theme. Jenkins’ intuitive ability to blend words and music, combines the words of several figures that have helped to change the world with a musical background, which gives a hint to their origin or culture.
With contributions from the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King among others, alongside some highly distinctive and original instrumentation, the net result is an unexpectedly compelling and often very moving mix of sounds.
Jenkins calls on numerous references to the world’s great faiths and their spiritual pursuit of peace, while using voice and instruments with which they have some association.
Hiroko Sue - traditional Japanese koto player
Come and enjoy an enchanting musical performance on the Koto by Hiroko Sue.
The Koto is a traditional stringed Japanese instrument, introduced from China in the 7th century. Today it is widely considered the national instrument of Japan.
Hiroko Sue was born in Yamanashi in Japan, and learnt to play the Koto at Tokyo-Geidai from 1990-1994. She studied Music Therapy at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama from 2003-2006 and now lives in Cardiff. Believing in the therapeutic value of music, Hiroko Sue has performed at hospitals and health centers, as well as musical venues all around the world.
Andy Wistreich - Harmony in the Wheel of Time
Andy Wistreich has been studying and practising buddhism for almost 40 years. One of his central interests is the Kalachakra (Wheel of Time) system of practice and transformation, which he met first in 1981. As co-founder of the International Kalacakra Network, and as a disciple of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other great Tibetan Kalachakra masters, Andy has devoted himself to supporting Kalachakra practitioners throughout the world, to help strengthen the forces for harmony and peace that exist everywhere.
Time is cyclical. Day and night, the lunar month and the seasons of the year are all dependent on turning and circling in space. These rhythms of the universe correlate with circadian rhythms in our bodies and environment.
These cycles of time revolve around the same still centre, and it is in this very stillness that both outer and inner peace can be revealed. This universal and personal stillness is ever present, and during the closing mediation Andy leads into an experience of this ever-present, sacred space.
Charlotte Swayne - Celtic Harpist
Charlotte Swayne is an outstanding traditional Celtic harpist, playing the pure sounds of the harp at special events an across Wales, the spiritual home of the harp and beyond.
creating a wonderful atmosphere, with a limitless repertoire of music ranging from Classical to Modern, both solo, ensemble and orchestral.
An experienced Harp Teacher of both the Celtic and the Pedal harp, Charlotte has worked as a Peripatetic Music Teacher in South Wales and Herefordshire for many years, teaching the harp and the piano in schools, and as a tutor through Associated Board and Trinity and Guildhall Exams, as well as helping them with their Theory and their Aural.
Dr. Scilla Elworthy - Peace is Possible, the Business Plan for Peace
Dr. Elworthy is a peace builder, and in 1982 founded of the Oxford Research Group, to develop an effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics, for which she was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then she set up Peace Direct, a charity supporting local peace-builders in conflict areas. She is the author of 10 books.
Scilla Elsworthy's talk is based on her new book ‘The Business Plan for Peace: Building a World Without War’.
"War makes a few people extremely rich and billions of people extremely poor. Armed conflict causes huge economic losses every year, yet peace-building and peace-keeping are grossly under-funded. The spending in 2015 on peace-building ($6.8 billion) and peacekeeping ($8.27 billion) together represented just 2 per cent of the economic losses caused by conflict, yet the total cost of scaling up all the most effective systems to prevent war over a period of 10 years would cost under $2 billion." The lecture will list some 25 proven systems that effectively prevent armed conflict and build safety at local, national and international levels. 'We need individuals like Dr. Elworthy to start the work of preventing war... This has been my personal dream for many years' His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Martin Kiszko - Green Poems for a Blue Planet
Martin Kiszko is a poet, composer and screenwriter. He has composed over 200 scores for film and television and released eight albums with major European orchestras.
Witty, whimsical, thought-provoking and challenging, Green Poems for a Blue Planet - 56 poems for greenies, non-greenies and in-betweenies about how we can help planet Earth.
A hit with both children and adults in the UK and abroad, poetry performances with projected illustrations and green poetry workshops will be in the Abbey Saturday Sept 21
Martin says, 'I hope these poems provoke a thought, raise a smile, start a conversation, spark an idea, spur us into action, or simply turn on a few ‘green lights’.
Mamadou Cissokho- virtuoso kora player & percussionist
MAMADOU CISSOKHO is a virtuoso kora player and percussionist with superb repertoire of rhythms fusing together traditional and modern beats. A member of the famous Cissokho family of Griot musicians and oral historians from the Cassamance region of Southern Senegal, he plays a variety of West African instruments ranging from djembe, sabar, calabash and talking drum to his leading instrument –the 22 stringed kora (West African Harp).
After mesmering audiences at the 2002 Glastonbury Festival, he became a regular performer and teacher at both Womad Charlton Park and Drum camp and continues to perform at many UK festivals such as Tribe of Doris, The Larmer Tree, Window of the World amongst many including Bristol’s St. Paul’s Carnival. Proud of his heritage Mamodou incorporates classical traditional songs into his own compositions, creating a unique style of his own. Mamadou embodies his historical lineage, his dream being for his music to spread the universal language of peace, togetherness, love and understanding, across the globe.
Herbert Giradet - Peace with Nature
Herbert is co-founder of the World Future Council and a member of the Club of Rome. He is a former chairman of the Schumacher Society, UK. He is a recipient of a UN 500 award for outstanding environmental achievements and visiting professor at the University of the West of England. He is author & co-author of 13 books and 50 TV documentaries on aspects of sustainable development.
"Until recently concern for peace was all about human-to-human relationships. But in the last 50 years the need for an ecological dimension in peace making has become apparent. In my work I have seen the power of an urbanising and industrialising humanity become an overwhelming threat to life on earth. I see the urgent need for a new awareness of the seemingly infinite variety and interdependence of life as vital for the future. From walking in our local forests to learning from TV documentaries, we are becoming aware of the urgent need to develop new attitudes and practical measures for a long-term, peaceful symbiosis between humanity and life on earth."
Renewal Gospel Choir
Bristol based Renewal gospel choir has been singing soul stirring gospel music since 2005. As we continue to grow and seek out new opportunities to share our music we remain faithful to our core values of the Christian message of hope and spiritual renewal.
Over the years we have grown from a handful of g singers and musicians to a 50 strong choir membership representing a diverse range of denominations, cultural backgrounds, ages and abilities.
The vibrant voices of Renewal are directed by the highly talented choir director Kim Samuels whose ability and inspiration is powerfully supported by our seasoned and accomplished musical director Philip Barclay and the rest of the Renewal band.
Renewal is very active and ambitiously keen to spread its inspirational gospel message far and wide. We also believe in the power of partnership to raise a Renewal remains truly grass roots in its appeal as we continue to engage audiences, young and old, to the vibrant and exhilarating gospel music experience.
International award winning Tintern composer and violinist Fiona Frank plays her composition 'Nature in the Ruins' Abaty Tyndyrn: - 2 movements inspired by Tintern Abbey for string quartet.
Robert Harrap - Buddhism in Action for Peace
Robert is General Director of Soka Gakkai International–UK, a socially engaged Buddhist movement for peace based on mindfulness. Previously Robert was formerly a London barrister in the field of employment, social housing & human rights. He is a regular on BBC Radio 2’s ‘Pause for Thought’.
" There are many different Buddhist traditions, but I like the ‘Nichiren’ approach because it provides a clear way to enable ordinary people to feel empowered and take responsibility for their lives. We believe in the dignity of all human life, and promote dialogue as the way to make a difference. Nichiren Buddhism, with its millions of adherents in many countries, aims to contribute to making the world a peaceful and more harmonious place. The Buddhist way has something really valuable to offer people, whatever their personal religious position. It’s a hopeful philosophy which shows how stress and violence can be transformed into peaceful situations."
Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes
Dervish turning from the Mevlevi order of dervishes is a potent method for experiencing inner stillness and the opening of the heart. It was originally taught to us in 1963 by a Mevlevi Sheikh with the permission of the head of the order and it has been taught and practised at Colet House in West London on a regular basis since then. The turning is a part of a ceremony known as a 'Mukabele' (meaning 'coming face to face') and it was originally developed by followers of the 13th century Persian mystic Jalalu'ddin Rumi. When we were taught it, we were asked to preserve it in its original form.
As well as having a deep transforming effect on the turners, the whole ceremony has a profound inner symbolism, which represents mankind's inner journey back to the realisation of his essential oneness with God and the unity of all creation.
Watchings the dervishes turning ceremony is in itself a moving experience and the audience are regarded as a part of the ceremony and are known as 'Lovers'.