Tiles in a mosaic
A chance to get to know the Spanish band Mosaico GRLP (Gen Rosso Local Project). Since 2017 they’ve been performing musicals and running arts workshops to spread values of peace and non-violence among young people across Spain.
Mosaico GRLP (Gen Rosso Local Project) is a band composed of young musicians from different parts of Spain. Their shared musical and performance journey began in 2017 with the help of Gen Rosso International Performing Arts Group, whose many members over its 50 year history have come from and performed all over the world, presenting a message of fraternity, peace and solidarity.
After Gen Rosso performed their musical Streetlight in Spain, some idealistic young musicians stepped up and took the project into their own hands. And Mosaico was born. We talked to some of the original band members:
Carmen Durán from Seville is an actor, singer and workshop coordinator. Alberto Peñafiel from Elche is a drummer, actor and multimedia artist. Albert Illa from Barcellona is an actor, singer and member of the organizing committee. Last but not least, David Aguado from Madrid is an actor, singer, dancer and part of the communications team. Together with the 26 other young people from all over Spain in this group, they aspire to form a kind of magnificent mosaic, which can demonstrate how unity in diversity is possible. “Despite differences of age, culture and provenance, a more united world of peace and solidarity is possible”, explains Carmen, one of the cast of Streetlight.
What is Streetlight?
Most of Mosaic GRLP’s performances so far have been centred around the musical Streetlight. Composed by Gen Rosso in 2000, it’s the true story of Charles Moats, a young Afro-American murdered in a Chicago ghetto in the late 1970s. Charles was only 17 years old when he died striving to live a coherent Christian life in a violent and risky environment. However, his death was not in vain because through his influence, many of his group of friends understood that you don’t respond to violence with more violence. This was his desire, and over the years, millions of other people around the world have made and continue to make it their own.
One of the fruits of Charles’ life was a peace project in Germany called “Strong without Violence” (“Stark ohne Gewalt”) which works to instil values of peace and dialogue in young people. Over the years it has generated a series of collaborations with Gen Rosso firstly in German schools with the support of the European Union, and then expanding to other countries including Spain.
So Mosaico GRLP joined the “Strong without Violence” project to deliver 3-day multi-disciplinary workshops with youth from different cities, covering percussion, theatre, hip-hop, concert sound and lighting etc. Through their art, these workshops strive to transmit the values of non-violence, peace and dialogue.
Each project celebrates its conclusion with a public performance of the musical, involving the young workshop participants.
Through this artistic collaboration, Mosaic is communicating the powerful and revolutionary story of Charles Moat while at the same time offering opportunities to young people who are living their own situations of complexity and struggle. Cast member Albert Illa describes it like this, “A mosaic is made of different pieces, all of different colours and sizes. It’s the union of these colours and shapes which generates the final work of art. And what’s beautiful about it is how it can be continually extended by adding more tiles. People really connect with this idea” .
David Aguado adds that Mosaico GRLP is “a project of artistic formation which aims to influence young people how to live, at a time when fraternity really needs to be highlighted in the face of isolation, violence and individualism”.
For one another
During the United World Week international launch event – #InTimeForPeace Web Event – Mosaico GRLP premiered their own arrangement of the Gen Rosso song L’uno dell’altro (For one another). This initiative sprang from their desire to communicate a positive message during lockdown. The result is a dynamic virtual mosaic: every tile contributing to a ‘masterpiece’ which wouldn’t be what it is without every single individual piece .
Song performed byi Mosaico GRLP: