Artists are set to showcase the fruits of their anti-war sentiments in a gathering to protest the war in Ukraine.

Verses and voices against violence and war, a touring event launched in Rich Mix theatre in London last month, is coming to Oxford tomorrow.

Saudha Society of Poetry and Music, the UK’s leading organisation for global arts and music, has partnered with La Ninfa Eco, an international hub for Oxford-based writers, to host the artistic protest.

The event will be held at West Oxford Community Centre at 6:30pm, with free entry and tickets available on Eventbrite.

The initiative aims to be a form of protest against the war in Ukraine, giving artists the opportunity to vent their frustrations through artistic works, including music, dance, literature, films and painting.

The director of La Ninfa Eco, poet Gaby Sambuccetti, said: “The event is again featuring a wide array of performances as artists’ responses to ongoing war happening around the world.

“Fifty-two leading artists from all different genres of arts, from a diverse cultural heritage, joined the session in London last month.

“The Oxford session will repeat the same with some wonderful local poets, musicians, dancers along with a few joining from other cities.”

The Oxford event will see a brief talk given by world-leading biologist and University of Oxford professor Denise Noble.

As well as performances by singer Mike Harris, Dr Ray Noble, opera singer Dr Rosella Maria Bondi, spoken-word poet Poppy Shahnaz, poets Alan Buckley and Sarwar E Alam, and dance recitals by Flamenco dancer Mercedes Avila Caballero and musician Harry Brzezinski, and Bengali folk dancer Sohel Ahmed.

Guests will also experience local music group Udayan’s encapsulation of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s interpretation of peace.

READ MORE: Oxfordshire Artweeks event sees 700 guests in three days

The director of Saudha, poet Ahmed Kaysher, said: “This is a protest against Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. As well as other forms of violence in the world.

“We had such a huge response from the artist communities in London, and I am sure the spirit will continue to Oxford and other cities we are coming to.”

Mr Kaysher added: “This event is a protest, but it is also giving audiences an opportunity to see how artists are reacting to the war in Ukraine.

“People are watching what is happening on the news and feeling powerless.

“In some, especially artists, it is building up a kind of frustration that they feel they have to express through their art.

“This event is just as much about venting frustration at the war as it is about protesting it.”


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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