A few days ago, while doing my usual “Sudan” search in Google News, I came across an incredible gem of a video. Just under four minutes, with no plot or script, it is one of the most moving and powerful clips I have seen in a long time. It’s a film project that features rock stars (Coldplay’s Will Champion) and amateur musicians (Lucas, a toddler from Brazil) from across the globe, all of whom add their own rhythmic style to a central beat.
The project was conceived and developed by Sudan365, a coalition of organizations campaigning for a peaceful referendum in southern Sudan. In a creative effort to bring attention to the need for a harmonious referendum process, the group started a “beat for peace,” a movement that is sounding the call for January 9, 2011 to be a day marked by peaceful democracy, and not what many have predicted: the spark for a return to full-scale war between the North and South. The result is an incredibly poignant statement of sound, a powerful but wordless message of support for the people of Sudan. Witnessing this convergence of global musicians is extremely moving, as is the message that’s carried by their beat: that activists, when joined together, can create a united voice of complex beauty and strength that’s impossible to ignore.
I often find myself wishing there were more opportunities to march in the streets, to increase awareness about issues for which I care about so deeply. For me, peace in Sudan tops that list, and I truly think this video has the potential to have a greater reaching effect than a rally in the streets of Washington could. Sudan365’s film project is a beautiful example of what modern, online activism can achieve: You don’t have to join a protest in your town square; you just have to own a web-cam. I shared the video with our staff here at Enough, and I wanted to share it with the readers of Enough Said. If you’re a musician, or, even if—like me—you can’t keep a beat to save your life, I encourage you to first watch and then contribute to this very cool project. We need a united voice for peace in Sudan; it might as well have a catchy rhythm.