Last night I had the pleasure of participating in an event to support linguistic rights. Chapter’s Associate Artist Programme PEILOT and Be Aware Productions initiated the event as part of Chapter Readings and it was supported by Wales PEN Cymru.
It was a sell-out and Luca Paci said ‘the overlapping of languages and songs, like waves in the sea.’ A real joy and a sorrow to hear the poignant lyrics of songs/poems in Kurdish (Kurmanji and Zazaki dialects) about separation, massacre, and exile. There was defiance too in the music, in the gorgeous voices that lifted cherished Kurdish songs into the room in Chapter. Testimony to how a culture can endure and delight and empower others.
Geraint Rhys sang powerful songs in Welsh reminding us to ‘paid â syllu’n wag at y tywyllwch/ lliwio’r gorwel, teimlo’r teyngarwch’ (Don’t gaze emptily into the darkness/ colour the horizons and feel unity with others.’
Ali Sizer a Kurdish dengbej (bard singer) had us hypnotised with his ‘klam’ poetry/song/music. It laced between us all, speakers, singers, uniting us in one voice, one human heart beating in different languages that on the stage last night understood one another.
Here’s a podcast of the performance.