An Ecumenical Accompanier has won a prestigious music award for a song about the situation in Palestine and Israel.
Penny Stone took part in the Ecumenical Accompanier Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) in 2010 and from her experience the song “Breaking the Silence” was written and won the Alistair Hulett Memorial Trust Song Competition. The mission of EAPPI is to accompany Palestinians and Israelis in their nonviolent actions and concerted advocacy efforts to end the occupation. The role of participants in the programme includes monitoring and reporting violations of human rights and international humanitarian law; supporting acts of nonviolent resistance alongside local Palestinian and Israeli activists; offering protection through nonviolent presence; engaging in public policy advocacy and standing in solidarity with the churches and all those struggling against the occupation.
The words of the song, “Breaking the Silence”, are taken directly from testimonials of Israeli Defense Force soldiers as they speak out against the very things that they have done. These have been collected by an Israeli peace group, Breaking the Silence, in order to help wider Israeli society understand the nature of the occupation.
Penny Stone won the Alistair Hulett Memorial Trust Song Competition (the song can be heard through this link), which is a part of the work of the Alistair Hulett Memorial Trust. The trust exists to promote social justice and equality through music and struggle. Alistair Hulett was a singer, songwriter, international socialist and revolutionary.
The song is not the limit of Penny Stone’s creativity. Last year she and fellow EA Karen Chalk performed a sell-out dramatical/musical show, Still Life, in Edinburgh. It is based on their experiences of living in the West Bank for 3 months.
Still Life will be performed at Friends House in London on 21/04/2012.
EAPPI is administered in Britain and Ireland by Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW), under the auspices of the World Council of Churches. Partner churches and church-related organisations of QPSW include: Baptist Union of Great Britain; CAFOD; Christian Aid; Church of Scotland; Church Mission Society; Churches Together in Britain and Ireland; Iona Community; Methodist Church; Pax Christi UK; Scottish Episcopal Church; United Reformed Church and USPG.