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Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 4 months ago


 Peace. Justice. Beauty.   Re-thinking, re-building, re-living - from the Earth up



Echoes of Silence - 'artists with dirt under their finger nails' - works to build peace with justice, through beauty and concrete action.  Beauty offers a glimpse of wholeness, keeping alive the vision of a healed world and moving people profoundly; moving them to take concrete actions to make peace-filled justice, crucially - as the very earth melts beneath our feet - environmental justice. With so many of the world's people unable to read, Echoes emphasizes the arts as vital channels for communication and interchange. We particularly support projects to end war, to reduce global warming, and to build community information and action networks locally, nationally and internationally. (Full project information: http://echoesofsilence.pbwiki.com - projects page)



Reflections on recent tours of US and UK by Echoes Coordinator, Paul Baker Hernandez. with resultant project outlines


 To begin, thank you to everyone who helped make these tours such successes. In schools and churches, political rallies and community festivals, concerts and workshops. There's a wonderful passage in “Dr. Zhivago”.  Yuri and his family travel by train from Moscow to the Urals. The track becomes clogged with snow. Passengers get down to dig it out, one group here, others further on, hidden by the drifts. “Suddenly,” writes Pasternak, “the walls between them came down and the entire line came into view, flying into the distance like an arrow.  As far as the eye could reach, groups of people with shovels in hand stood at intervals. Seeing themselves for the first time in full force, they were astonished at their numbers.”

    Just so, so many of the events served as wonderful reunions of old colleagues and friends, seemingly left behind when I moved to Central America – but found again still working just as hard for a truly just One World society in a healed planet, digging out together that longed-for “line flying into the distance”. Seeing ourselves together perhaps for the first time, and with so many new people, we too were astonished at our numbers.  Indeed, for the first time in years, we had to turn invitations down. 

   The difference? No longer Nicaragua the tattered revolutionary relic, but Nicaragua a pivotal country in the (increasingly) universal struggle to roll back global warming.  Little Nicaragua, battered half to death by savage capitalism and its everyday counterpart, tragic consumerism, can now bring its plethora of true riches to the common determination to heal the planet. Its immense deposits of fresh water, vast life-breathing forests, enormous potential for energy from renewable resources, staggering biodiversity, living indigenous cultures, these have always been its true wealth; at last, we're beginning to understand why. And that Sandino is not merely the fabled guerrilla leader, but also the practical visionary with his 'intentional community' in Wiwilí, sturdily planted in land, cooperation, ecology and self-sufficiency. Sandino yesterday, Nicaragua today, the world tomorrow.


   Sandino therefore helped make sense of Echoes of Silence's own: “Peace. Justice. Beauty.” “When peace finally comes, when we enter Managua, we won't be able to walk for all the flowers,” he said. The One World movement we're building together has just one over-arching goal, the healing of the whole planet and therefore of all its peoples: ecology, economy, trade, art, politics, religion ... all joined at last in making global the great dream expressed so surely by Salvador Allende: “For the first time ever, every child will have milk to drink, every day.” 

   How to go forward along that finally open line? The realization that, working together. we can make the desert bloom; that together we have the glorious wealth of the Earth and all its peoples, humour and flowers and forests and lakes, expertise from peasant to rocket scientist, art from Picasso to the child drawing, all informed by beauty itself – the transforming, powerful, beauty of Victor Jara's, “Prayer to a Labourer”:


“Stand up and see

 The wonder of the mountain

 Source of the sun, the water, and the wild wind.

 Stand up and see

 These hands with which you labour,

 Stretch out, grow tall,

 Join hands with your sisters and your brothers,

 Working together, by deepest blood united,

 Knowing together, the future can be now!”


 Victor sang within Chile's Movement for Popular Unity, dedicated to sharing his country's resources equitably. For that he was murdered and the movement crushed. But, today, we sing within the new world of the Latin American Just Trade Initiative (ALBA), inspired by exactly that same determination. This time, because the movement for justice is from the very Earth, calling on the Me First World and the Two Third Worlds – on all humanity - to cooperate, 'working together, by deepest blood united', the future can indeed be now.

   Reflecting that reality, the tour helped concretize several Echoes projects, seemingly local to truly global: Here's a brief summary (more information, please see http://echoesofsilence.pbwiki.com - projects page.)


1. Ponies and Small Persons - “A nation's moral state shows in how it treats its animals” (Mahatma Gandhi)

    In its initial stages, Ponies and Small Persons is designed to bring street children and street horses together in mutual healing. Increasingly marginalized by S(tupid) U(gly) V(icous) vehicles, they are literally being dumped onto the hard shoulder of the ‘asphalt progress’ currently destroying the very planet. 'Nags and Nippers' sets out to redeem the children from hopelessness and the horses from brutal labor. Together, the animals will at last experience gentle rest while the children can express tenderness, perhaps for the first time ever. All participants, children, carers and supporters alike, will discover more intelligent ways of using finite resources and other ways to happiness than tragic  consumerism.


2. Water! Not War  - "We must re-discover our reverence for water, for life itself.” (Everywoman)

   Few believe that the current astounding gloabl absorption of materials, economic resources and, above all, human intelligence in weapons and war is wise. Yet wars for water will be different in kind not just in degree, since, unlike oil, water is vital to all life - human, animal and plant. Echoes of Silence believes that by recovering our reverence for water as our most precious resource, we can begin to learn to heal both ourselves and the planet. Local potters fashion beautiful goblets from clay; we offer these to be used in rituals to re-awaken that reverence. Income from the goblets promotes the Water Not War campaign calling for the re-dedication of 1% of all military budgets, materiel and personnel to provide fresh water for everyone, through re-forestation, conservation, infrastructure and truly listening to those most profoundly linked to life, women, young people, and indigenous nations. Together they form the vast unsung majority of the Earth's people, yet have little representation/participation in politics-as-usual.


3. Zero Hunger - "That every child shall have milk to drink, every day" (Salvador Allende)

     A program to eradicate food hunger in Nicaragua, stimulating a home-grown, sustainable, economy, rolling back global warming and promoting the dignity, health and rights of women and children. Not merely 'food for a day', Zero Hunger is truly revolutionary since it is based on gender equality, organic sustainable land and water use, the rejection of oil-based farming and cutting the supply of 'illegal alien' cheap labour to the North – all measures to confront the current planetary crisis with hope and creativity. (£1000 [US$2000] : Raise a family of six out of hunger forever.)


4. Songs of Loveliness and Courage. “Beauty … that opens us up like a wound, to see with new eyes” (Victor Jara)

  Victor Jara's songs are among the most beautiful and profound of the entire New Song Movement. In the slaughter that began with the US/Pinochet coup on 911 One (Chile, 1973), he was tortured and murdered. Yet today, while Pinochet is recognized worldwide as a monster, Victor – now more than ever - goes on giving life and new hope to people the world over, his songs indeed ‘opening us up like wounds, to look out from within ourselves’  to see the world with the new eyes of loving justice, cooperation and beauty vital to heal the planet, and therefore ourselves.

(Victor Jara's best-loved songs, interpreted by Echoes' coordinator, Paul Baker Hernandez. Spanish and/or English [singing English translations as needed]. Negotiable fee. Please contact echoespaul@tortillaconsal.com)


5.  Art in Times of Renewed Hope - "I Won't Join Your Revolution if I Can't Dance" (Emma Goldman)

    Recent governments, tied to the consumerist 'death style', obliterated many of the wonderful murals of peace and hope celebrating cooperation, ecology and gender balance that blossomed throughout Nicaragua after the ejection of the Somoza dictatorship. Repaint the best of them. Join in creating new ones for these times of renewed hope.



Please use this form to indicate your specific interest in Echoes of Silence and its projects.  And to make a donation if so moved. Thank you.


 I/We wish to be part of Echoes of Silence work. Please send ongoing news, reports and information to:-


 NAME __________________________________________________________________________________


ADDRESS _______________________________________________________________________________


PHONE_________________________________ EMAIL________________________________________


 Here's a donation of £500/US$1000 - £100/US$200 - £50/US$100 - £25/US$50 - £10/US$20

- £/US$Other (circle) to bring beauty to the heart of the struggle for loving justice (cheques, etc: "Echoes of Silence")


UK, please send to: Christine Jennings, Echoes of Silence, 3, Upper Regents Park, Bradford-upon-Avon, BA15 1EF. USA, please contact Jim Burchell at jburchell@peacworks.org for details. PeaceWorks is our Fiscal Sponosr.




  Please print out, fill in/out and give to your bank. Thank you. (Your regular assistance enables us to work more effectively. Please inform Christine Jennings, Echoes of Silence, 3, Upper Regent’s Park, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1EF – 01225 866181 or Paul on echoespaul@tortillaconsal.com).  We will be duly delighted!



To: ____________________ Bank, at (Address)  ____________________________________________




Customer’s Details: Account Name ______________________________Account Number ______________


Phone: Work ______________ Phone: Home ___________________ Mobile:  __________________



Please set up the following Standing Order and debit my/our account accordingly.


UK - Pay to: Echoes of Silence, HALIFAX BUILDING SOCIETY, BATHGATE ST, BATH, Account Number 00007911, the Sum of £ __________ every month, quarter and/or year (please circle) starting (Date) __________________ and continuing until such time that I/we cancel this mandate.


USA - Please contact Jim Burchell at jburchell@PeaceWorks.org. PeaceWorks is Echoes' Fiscal Sponsor


Signature ________________________________________Date ______________________________




Phones: Nicaragua 405 2563; UK  01225 866181; USA 603 764 9948


http://echoesofsilence.pbwiki.com - echoespaul@tortillaconsal.com





Meantime, here´s what´s happening in Nicaragua, The World, and Everything on an episodic/idiosyncratic basis.





What was it Emma Goldman said about Revolutions and Dancing ... ?


 And even JFK had the occasional good one:


 'When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the foundation of our judgement.'



Please go to Diary page











































































































  (£250 [US$500] employs one Nicaraguan potter to make 100 goblets or 'copas') 


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