Monday, 7 September 2009

Of All The People In All The World at Greenbelt...


(Photographed by Samuel Banks)

This year at the Greenbelt Festival I made it a personal mission to check out more about physical art as well as the usual reasons I go. The latter are, primarily, for the edifying and inspiring talks, the music and, additionally, for all the 'chance' encounters whether they be with folk you already know or complete strangers.

One of the first and most talked about pieces of art, more of a complete and dynamic installation, was the display in the Christian Aid tent by Stan's Café entitiled 'Of All The People In All The World'. This inspiring and challenging piece is based on a grain of rice to represent a person and from there piles of rice to represent various juxtaposed worldwide statistics. Seeing this brings into stark focus our Western unbalanced World View. Click to expand the picture above to see the largest heap of rice represents all the people who have died in the Congo since the conflict began in 1998, the medium sized pile to the right is the number of civilian deaths in Iraq since 2001 and the adjacent relatively tiny pile represents all the forces' casualties in Afghanistan (again since 2001).

I also attended one of the panels discussing use of Art as part of Alternative Worship which was also inpsiring but I will return to that again as they dissed the use of music because of the conflicts that are raised between using traditional and modern worship stuff... the short answer is use pop music as well as hymns, see here!
On a more general level the whole Greenbelt 2009 site had lots of complementary 'vibing' which just seemed more complete this year from the start of the festival along with some very accessible (in every sense of the word!) sculptures.

So, myth one about Greenbelt dispelled, GB is NOT just a music festival!

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