The Europe of choirs

The Europe of choirs

A few Europeans some from Berlin, some from Lyon, Grenoble or Savoy, some from Wroclaw in Poland have begun  working together since 2010 in preparation for the imminent commemoration of the first world war. 

They imagined “voices and paths” from which could rise up a impetus of friendship and justice out of the memory of those terrible times.  This impetus has been given a name “human resolve.”  They invite everyone to join the movement and together to create many encounters all through the years 2014 to 2018.  These will be festive and joyous steps on a bridge of peace built with music: “the Europe of choirs”

“At the age of 14, in 1918, my father went with his father to identify the body of one of his uncles killed in 1915.  It left a strong impression, and he concluded that such horror should not happen, and that the only way to stop it was to create good relationships between the peoples of Europe.”

(Françoise Adam, speaking of his father the mathematician Henri Cartan, 1904-2008)

“War drives us insane.  In contrast to the aggressive view there is a humane attitude which is a basis for hope.  It is this which must be cultivated.   Europeans seem to have forgotten the founding message of the European union.  This was made evident by the indifference to the awarding of the Nobel prize to the European Union.  We need initiatives which bring hope.” 

(Louis Besson, ancient Ministre, chairman of the Chambery Metropolitan Inter-communal Authority)

“In our artistic approach every voice counts.  In such a way that an exchange is produced between art and humanity.   It cannot be any other way.  As musicians then we must have an open mind.  Within artistic encounters people find answers to their questions about a common European culture and its capacity for peace”.

(Cyrille Colombier, Artistic director and choir conductor)

“I had the chance of my life to meet men and women violated by misery.[1]  From them I learnt that people survive thanks to their fight for dignity t their own and that of others.  This lesson made me think that obviously during the war this spark of human resolve must have arisen.  Thanks to this there is no need for resignation or to become cynical; on the contrary, we can take an interest in what other Europeans dream of”.

Mascha Join-Lambert, Initiator of the project

“We will be celebrating through our artistic and citizens’ journey.  Each country has a great cultural reparatory.  We want to find what unites us.  The joy of meeting each other can blossom.   In this way we will come to the major questions that are being asked in Europe: for example, what does ‘sustainable development’ mean to the inhabitants of our different countries”.

Cornelia Keller-Kirst, Berlin

“I am convinced that war is becoming impossible.   Peace is defined in relation to the imagination and not to war.  This project which brings together people from all walks of life will give ideas to the politicians who lack imagination.”

(Richard Pétris, Peace School, Ecole de la Paix, Grenoble.

Dr.Henning Scherf, Former Mayor of Bremen, President of the German Association of Choirs

“To free ourselves from the processes of violence and war and turn them back then it is necessary to live alternative experiences.  From this can be built a politic of friendship.”

(Patrick Viveret, Philosopher, Dialogues of Humanity)