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Poetry Despite/Music Despite

April 6 11:00 am - August 7 4:00 pm

Photo from Poetry Despite/Music Despite (Eternal War Requiem) performance at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in 2019.

Poetry Despite/Music Despite

April 6 – August 7, 2022

Virtual Artist Talk with Aaron Hughes | Saturday, April 23 at 11:00 AM | Click Here to watch a recording

Poetry & Cello Performance | Sunday, May 15 at 1:00 PM | Click Here

View the exhibition booklet: Click Here

Poetry Despite/Music Despite (Eternal War Requiem) connects artists across time and place, from World War I to the “Global War on Terror,” from the US to Iraq. These connections acknowledge the recurring traumas of war and, conversely, the human connections that happen despite the pain. 

The project emerged out of Hughes’ personal reflections on Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem (originally written for the 1962 consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral), the nine poems by World War I poet Wilfred Owen featured in the War Requiem, and maestro Karim Wasfi’s “spontaneous compositions,” solo cello performances held at sites of bombings in Iraq. These works, along with Hughes’ own memories of being a U.S. soldier in Iraq in 2003-2004, resonate with each other. They facilitate connections between the current state of endless war and its historical antecedents. Aptly, Wasfi has said of his cello performances: “I was connecting everything: death, spirits, bodies, life.” Hughes was inspired to attempt something similar.

Maestro Karim Wasfi is a renowned cellist, conductor, and founder of Peace Through Arts Foundation known for his “spontaneous compositions,” solo cello performances held at sites of recent bombings in Iraq. Wasfi conducted the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra 2007-2016 and established the Italy Iraq Scholarship program in Modena as well as the British Council office in 2005. Wasfi utilizes sound resonance on the brain, neuroscience function, cultural diplomacy, a unique music and sound approach for healing, cross cultural integration, deradicalization, and prevention of tension. His innovative approach helped thousands of people in crisis areas to rise from violence, fear, and intimidation of terror, by conveying creative peaceful resonance through music, sound and arts. Wasfi’s current effort is to rebuild Iraq’s war torn areas by focusing on healing and rebuilding inner and societal peace that aims to proactively prevent future relapse into war and conflict.

Aaron Hughes is an artist, curator, organizer, teacher, anti-war activist, and Iraq War veteran. Working through an interdisciplinary practice rooted in drawing and printmaking, Hughes works collaboratively to create meaning out of personal and collective trauma, transform systems of oppression, and seek liberation. He develops projects that often utilize popular research strategies, experiments with forms of direct democracy, and operates in solidarity with the people most impacted by structural violence. Hughes works with a range of art and activist groups, including Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, About Face: Veterans Against the War, emerging Veteran Art Movement, and Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project.

More about the project here.

The Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project is a nonprofit founded in 2007 that builds bridges of communication, understanding, and support between Iraqis and Americans. After decades of war, sanctions and occupation, we are a space for conversations, learning, and action. Learn more at reconciliationproject.org.

Funding has been provided to the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project from the Minnesota Humanities Center through the NationalEndowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021. NEH is committed to Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP).

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities

 

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Thank you to our sponsor Schmitt Music! 

Details

Start:
April 6 11:00 am
End:
August 7 4:00 pm
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