In April, the student choir JIP gave four concerts called ‘op doortocht’ – Moving Cultures’. They sang music from people all over the world who are traveling, voluntary or forced. The concert was about journeys, new encounters, sharing stories, keeping memories and celebrating diversity.
For the project, the choir worked together with 39 young singers, 3 musicians from Palestine, Turkey and Syria, 1 performing artist from Tunisia, 3 composers from Iceland and the Netherlands, 4 poets from Iraq, Chile and the Netherlands, 8 visual artists from Bosnia, Syria, Lebanon and Canada and 11 engaged organizations, of which The Hague Peace Projects was one. Not only was Lisanne, one of our staff member, singing in the choir, she also helped setting up the art exhibition with art pieces from several refugees living in the Netherlands.
For the four concerts in The Hague, Amsterdam and Utrecht were refugees invited for free. Because of the positivity of the project all the churches were completely full with visitors, old and new citizens of The Netherlands. Also, they were asked to perform even more concerts. On the 28th of May they were performing during a charity concert, supporting Stichting Bootvluchteling. In total they collected an amount of 660,- euro’s.
Read here the personal stories of the two conductors of the choir: Jonathan and Imre Ploeg.
“The past three months, JIP has been on a fascinating journey. Never before have we had such a tremendously divers program. Never before have we collaborated with so many different artists. Never before have we welcomed so many people in the audience.
Last summer, conductors Jonathan and Imre chose to dive into the theme ‘Op Doortocht – moving cultures’. We were inspired by the power and sound of nomadic tribes and shocked by the terrible news about the refugees from the Middle East and Africa. There are many nomadic tribes that choose to travel and are always on the move. In our modern society, people travel in many different ways and for many different reasons. Jonathan and Imre saw the news and wanted something different. They wanted to create a story of hope. A story of collaboration. A story of welcoming new cultures and meeting each other.
People from all over the world came to our concerts. Parents of choir members were sitting next to people who are new in the Netherlands. People flew over from Sweden, or watched our livestream of the concert in Den Haag from Brazil. All of them heard different stories from all over the world. Inuit pictures, Maasai sounds, Middle Eastern poems and Andalucían gypsy tunes. All of them heard compositions that were composed for this project. The 1.000 people attending our concerts could see visual art from artists from Syria, Bosnia, the Netherlands and other countries and eat nomadic snacks during the break.
So many singers, artists, musicians, composers, poets, choirs, organizations and people in the audience made their contribution to the project, that it is almost impossible to thank everyone separately. But to all of them we say: thank you from the bottom of our heart. Because of you we could create the story of hope, cultural diversity, love, collaboration and appreciation we could not even dream of last summer. We can only conclude that there are many, many people striving for a better world, in which people can peacefully live together, sharing their stories and cultures with each other and playing and singing together.”