A powerful message
Xanana Gusmao carries many titles .. freedom fighter .. presidential candidate .. big brother to a nation. In Australia this week he carried all these titles plus one other .. poet.
And it was in this guise, that he openend the 2001 Melbourne Festival of Arts.
Xanana Gusmao’s poem entitled “World Peace”, has been republished here with his permission. You can also listen to his performance of it from the opening night of the Melbourne Festival at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on October 11.
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Blood and tears
Intelligence in the service of destruction
The art of mobilising human beings to die
For principles, rights?
or power, ambition?
The result eclipsing their dimension
The numbers alone recorded by history
While many die
Others sow a hatred
Speaking of Peace
When a war rages
Innocents, the defenceless oppressed
Interests, politics at the fore
Principles to justify
And rights do not exist
Speaking of war
When peace prevails
Human conscience in alienation
Dignity debased in the absence of morals
A truth is preached
Then violations down-played
The violence screams
Dialogue the loser
There are no causes, forgotten
Spirits aroused, force is the answer
A world of fear
In the media of trauma
Justice, the claim
Punishment, a demand
Dragged into the tide of emotions
The human side of life, twisted
Where there is no courage
And no place for forgiveness
The opening night celebrations also included
a performance by five young singers from Balibo - Inacio Santos da Cruz,
Erson Guruh Pina, Ruben da Cruz, Maria Antonia Ambrosa Tasik Pina, Romana
Pereira, Maria Zinha Olivera Maia de Carvalho.
Warrior poet performs in Melbourne
Warrior poet to perform
MELBOURNE, Sept 10 AAP - East Timorese freedom fighter and likely first president Xanana Gusmao will visit Australia next month to perform a reading of his own poetry at the Melbourne Festival.
Mr Gusmao will read a specially commissioned poem at the festival’s opening concert, accompanied by six teenage singers from the East Timorese city of Balibo.
The performance could boost festival numbers by thousands, with many of Melbourne’s 10,000 strong East Timorese community expected to attend to see the much-loved resistance leader.
Victorian Premier Steve Bracks announced the visit in a statement yesterday (Sunday), saying he was delighted Mr Gusmao could attend.
He said the performance was part of an Australia-East Timor cultural exchange aimed at forging greater artistic links between the two nations.
“I am delighted to lend my support to this important cultural exchange with the world’s newest democracy,” he said.
Mr Bracks said Victorians had already demonstrated a strong commitment to rebuilding East Timor as it moved towards independence, and he hoped the concert would inspire even greater support for the island nation.
See also: BD: Recent news re Mr Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão