It’s time to march to the sound of a different drum – Amnesty International WA is holding its annual Beats for Bravery event at Fremantle’s Moore & More Café on Friday, December 20. From 6pm-10pm, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the brave human rights defenders among us with live musical performances and an auction of art works by prestigious local artists.
There will also be opportunities to take part in Amnesty International’s Write for Rights campaign while acknowledging the 71st year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrined the inalienable rights of all people.
More than 15 years ago, Amnesty activists in Poland held a letter writing marathon – the first Write for Rights campaign. Now, it’s the world’s biggest human rights event. During Write for Rights, people from more than 170 countries take more than 5.5 million actions, putting pressure on governments and making change happen.
Every year, real change happens because of these actions. Just ask Teodora Del Carmen Vasquez, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison after suffering a stillbirth under El Salvador’s total ban on abortions. “International support is the most powerful tool that women like me can get,” she said. “Every single signature for the petition to get me free, made a difference. Now I’m free. I’m no fairy tale, I am a true story.” She was released in 2018.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations in 1948, motivated by the experiences of the previous two world wars. It begins by recognising “the inherent dignity of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.
The declaration states that human rights are universal – to be enjoyed by all people, no matter who they are or where they live. It also includes civil and political rights, such as the right to life, liberty, free speech and privacy, along with economic, social and cultural rights, including social security, health and education.
To celebrate all this, Beats for Bravery has several top bands lined up, including Airline Food, Angie Colman, Bass Lemon, Mt Cleverest, Homebrand and Simone & Girlfunkle.
• Airline Food are a four-piece indie, psychedelic pop band from Perth. They started jamming and recording music in 2016 and, over the past few years, have moved from strength to strength, evolving their sound and offering moments of experimentalism and versatility.
• Angie Colman is an emerging singer and songwriter who provides laidback, original tunes. She describes her work as “catchy, ear-worm pop ballads with heartfelt lyricism”. Her first single Cigarette Talk was released earlier this year.
• Bass Lemon are a dynamic soul and funk fusion group that electrifies audiences with a powerful mix of classic and original songs. Since exploding into the Perth music scene early last year, Bass Lemon have refined and extended their jazz-influenced alt-soul sound. Writing melancholic, hard hitting anthems of personal struggle, equality and political decay, Bass Lemon appeal to a diverse crowd.
• Mt Cleverest bring a unique alt-rock indie-rap sound to their shows, after coming together through a mutual love for music and similar musical influences. The five-piece knew they were on to something special at their first rehearsal in 2016 and have climbed through the Perth music scene to impress locals and gain international attention.
• Homebrand met through a local music program and found their indie-punk-rock sound by covering songs from their parents’ music collections. A few years later, Homebrand began writing their own music and playing shows at local youth music venues. Since then, the band have appeared at some of Perth’s great festivals, including WAM and Hyperfest.
• With a mesmerising combination of three-part female harmonies and delightful arrangements, Simone & Girlfunkle produce shimmering, winsome pop-folk perfection. Enduringly popular, the release of their second album Hold On saw them in the top 10 most-played artists for 2017 and 2018 on RTR-FM, as well as gaining a WAM Song of the Year nomination in the folk category. Their music has been heard on numerous TV programs including in Winners & Losers, ABC’s Giggle and Hoot and Packed to the Rafters.
Guest speaker at Beats for Bravery will be Bella Burgemeister, a WA high school student and key organiser of WA’s School Strike 4 Climate. Growing up in the South West, Bella has always been passionate about the environment and says “Young people like me are the ones who will live with the consequences of inaction on climate change”. In 2017, Bella wrote the book Bella’s Challenge, which tackles climate change (specifically, the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development) in a way children can understand and take action.
Artists providing works for the auction include David Spencer, Zal Kanga-Parabia, Joanna Brown, Jana vodesil-Baruffi, Ayad Alqaragholli, Steven Makse and Peter Barker.
Ayad Alqaragholli’s art work is built on two things – form and idea, narrative and beauty – and depicts recurring motifs of chairs, ladders, circles and the human form to underline his themes. The figures in his art work symbolise love, land, peace and dreaming and how modern history needs to translate and document reality.
Steven Makse works across a range of subjects and media and has a particular interest in digital design and oil painting. He can often be found painting “en plein-air” (outdoors) around Fremantle and its surrounds.
Peter Barker studied the techniques of classical realism in Florence and was as an assistant to master Norwegian figurative painter Odd Nerdrum. He combines these acquired techniques with his own unique vision, specialising in portraits, still life and landscapes.
Tickets for Beats for Bravery are $5 – book at https://tinyurl.com/beatsforbravery. Moore & Moore Café is at 46 Henry Street, Fremantle.