Gen Rosso in Lebanon: HeARTmony, art as a message
From 1st to 6th November, the band Gen Rosso travelled to Lebanon for another leg of the HeARTmony project: training the future trainers of inclusion through art.
After its last leg in Bosnia, the HeARTmony project continues in Beirut, Lebanon. Its goal is always the same: to train talented young people in the methodologies of social inclusion for migrants and refugees through art, to strengthen intercultural skills and to reflect on the causes and effects of migrations in the Mediterranean area.
During the first week of November, four members of the band Gen Rosso (Adelson, Ygor, Michele and Juan Francisco), along with the young people of Caritas Egypt (Egitto), Caritas Lebanon and some members of Humanité Nouvelle (Lebanon), had the chance to work, create and dream together.
After landing in Beirut, the band members were warmly welcomed by the volunteers of Caritas Lebanon Youth and by the local members of the Focolare Movement. “It was particularly striking for us to see how ready young Lebanese people were to serve others, despite the complicated situation their country is in… – says Adelson Oliveira – They are like heroes who, even in difficult times, still manage to lend a generous hand to those in need”.
This time around, their visit did not involve organising a concert, but learning to use music and art to bring people together – especially those living on the margins of society, like migrant people – in order to make them feel welcomed and fully part of the community. “Art is a powerful tool – reflects Adelson – music takes us where words, often, cannot. A person can feel loved and respond to love in many ways”.
During the ‘Training Trainers’ course, the band held singing, music and percussions workshops. Their method consisted of making use of everyone’s talents during the preparation of the show. “We shared our experience with them, and together we created something special. – explains Adelson – We are planning to replicate this course format as widely as we can, adapting this artistic experience to the various local contexts”.
The band and the project participants also spent one evening with the Focolare community of Beirut, together with other friends, during which they played music and got to know each other. It was an opportunity to share personal stories and to find out more about the reality experienced by young Lebanese people today. “I spoke to a girl who told me: ‘I want to leave, but I feel that Lebanon will only change if I have the courage to stay. If I put what I have learned into practice’”, Adelson recalls. He ponders: “I think that only love can transform things, and this applies to politics and the economy too. In the current context, it’s hard to tell young people to stay, but that girl’s words struck me deeply. This can be the starting point: we can start by putting love in everything we do in order to make a difference in our own reality. Maybe the results won’t be immediately visible… but I’m sure that soon Lebanon will rise again, like a phoenix!”.
Meanwhile, HeARTmony continues. The ball is now in the court of the young course participants who, in order to prove that they have gained the skills required by the project, will have to prepare an art project for inclusion themselves in the coming months, with the support of Gen Rosso and the various partners.
To find out more about the project, visit New Humanity NGO’s website.