www.sweetfreedom.org

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New Internationalist

Musical unions

In just minutes, one song can deliver a powerful message that would take a book-load of words to explain. Unquestionably, some songs move our hearts and sympathies in a way that straight facts could never achieve. But while we have experienced how sound can enrich our lives, it can also move those who create it through a healing journey to a better place. This program's co-host - Brian Procopis from Sweet Freedom, an Australian social justice program that works through sound and song - brings music to our ears from asylum seekers who sing about their life journeys, as today's guests talk of the realities facing refugees from the Middle East and Asia:

  • Thousands of Timorese have fled from internal violence and are yet to return to their homes and families. Timor Lèste's First Lady, Kirsty Sword Gusmão - who fought for that country's independence and is now wife to the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão - gives us a glimpse of the political challenges facing leaders of a new nation as she talks about one of the country's hottest political issues.
  • From and to where are today's refugees fleeing? Cécile Pouilly from the UNHCR - the United Nations Refugee Agency - takes us to the hotspots.
  • Blues musician Dr Steve Dillon - author of 'Music, Meaning & Transformation' - shares stories with Brian Procopis about music that's made people and their communities more resilient; and explains how songs and sound helped transform a failing school into a centre of excellence.

Today we feature three CDs from the emerging record label Sweet Freedom - Scattered People, Normal Days, and Alafiah. Profits from the sales go to those asylum seekers who've participated. Find out more at www.sweetfreedom.org

Listen directly online (flash 128kbps stream)

Download the programto your computer or music player (Right click on the link and choosewhere you would like to save the program to - 128kbps mp3 55.7MB)

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe to the podcast

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