Music and Humanitarianism

In his keynote address at the Music Without Borders 2016 Concert, Dr. James Orbinski’s explores the overlap between music and humanitarianism, and explains how each is an expression of commitment towards excellence, beauty, love, and a world without borders:

"There are many similarities between basic humanitarianism and the power, energy and vitality of music in what is so beautifully captured and presented here tonight... Deep in my own centre, I feel a common sense of unity between this idea and experience of music, and the experience of what I know to be humanitarianism...

At its root, humanitarianism is about entering into that space where you are in relationship to other human beings—where you see the other not as an object, not as a subject, but as a fellow being. And in that relationship, one acts where the other is unable to act for themselves. One acts in a manner that is very much focused on and very much seeks to relieve suffering. And so, in a certain way, it is a kind of relationship that is rooted in the best words that I can find to describe, it’s rooted in a kind of "being and becoming." Music very much comes from that same place of "being and becoming." The resonance of music, the sound of music, its reverberations, bring us into that relationship of "being and becoming." And music, in many ways, is a window into and an offering from that "being and becoming."

Support MSF to Help the Displaced!

            The migrant crisis in the Middle East, specifically Syria, has become a worldwide issue.  No longer can we say, “Oh, I can’t do anything about that because it is far, far away from here.”  The world has become smaller, and more and more now, others’ troubles and sufferings have become our troubles and sufferings.  The people of Europe, though they used to think they were far away from and detached from the issues in the Middle East, now realize that the problems and troubles of the area of the Fertile Crescent are much closer to them than they thought.  The Syrian refugees, migrating and flooding up through Turkey and southern Europe, are desperate for a chance to escape the conflict happening near their homes.  According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), there are at least 7.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Syria, as of July 2015.  Consider the fact that this information is already a few months old, and that the conflict in this area has probably escalated.  More and more of these IDP’s will want to come to the West, to Europe.  This issue has become worldwide, and humanity has to work together to solve it, because if we don’t, millions of people will not only be let down, but also they will either die or be hurt in a conflict that they did nothing to provoke.  We HAVE to work together, wherever we live, because soon this issue will spread to near us.  MSF (Doctors Without Borders) is aiding in the effort to help refugees find shelter and temporary housing. If not actively helping, we should raise awareness and money for organizations fighting on the front lines of this battle.  But this is also a global conflict, with many refugees fleeing from different places all around the world. We have to take action.  —N.B.M.

 

Designing the MWB Logo

Over the years, I have been interested in graphic design and I have learned a lot from many people, including my mother who is a graphic designer. I have learned that a good design needs to be interesting but simple. With time and practice I have become very passionate about design in general and graphic design in particular. My goal is to make websites visually appealing, accessible, and easy to use.

A few months ago my friend Benn, whom I have known for many years, contacted me about a project he was doing called “Music Without Borders”. It is a fundraising project in support of the organization Doctors Without Borders in its fight against the current Ebola Crisis in West Africa. The project needed a logo and graphic design. Another designer, Teo, who is also helping with the project had come up with the idea of merging the image of a globe with a musical note. I built on this idea and played around with it. Finally, our logo was created.

Helping the community and working as a team is not always easy. But when the work is done, it is worth it. To me this is a meaningful project because it shows that even a small group of middle and high schoolers can impact the community in a meaningful way. Once you see the impact of what you have worked so hard on, it is worth all the effort you put in. Something about working on this project and seeing it to the end makes me want to learn even more about design. I will keep working with Music Without Borders and continue to learn more about graphic design. I also plan to continue helping to contribute to the community in a variety of ways for many years to come.

— By Cale Waldheim

 See a longer version of this article that is published in Connections: A newsletter for the Cambridge Friends School Community:


Check out our Arcade!

Video games are a big part of our culture. Like anything, video games can be a source of good or bad, depending on our choices. So we created an Arcade as a platform for youth to create and play video games that are socially conscientious. Since the current Ebola crisis is our focus right now, we have created games around the theme of Ebola fighting.  We invite you to share with us any games you made that are fun and for a good cause!

MWB 2016 Update: The arcade also features a Minecraft Let's Play video!

Check out the arcade here: blog.musicwithoutborder.com/arcade

Youth action

If you want to be part of youth action, be willing

For service is like food –

You never have your filling

The power of will has

NO BORDERS

Since we are youth we have unlimited potential

Our brains eagerly want to do good and

Making change for the better is a

TALL ORDER

Doing good is like a speck of light – it’s essential

Don’t let the dark swallow you up

For they could use you against good

And you would be like a helpless pup

So take a stand and have courage to rise up

All Youth have the potential to think beyond all

ORDERS

For serving the world

HAS

NO

BORDERS

– By S.J.M.