JOHANNESBURG, LONDON AND WASHINGTON, (June 11, 2013) – The ONE Campaign today joined forces with dozens of musicians from across the globe to launch agit8, an urgent call for action against extreme poverty in the crucial week leading up to the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
An extraordinary line up of artists have added their voices to the campaign by recording brand new versions of great protest songs, because protest leads to progress and bold commitments from world leaders could be life changing.
Grammy Award–winning Angelique Kidjo, special adviser to agit8 said:
“The scandal of extreme poverty and the disgrace of needless child deaths really can be ended, but it won’t happen without action now. Throughout history, we have seen great progress when people join forces to demand change. If enough people add their voices to the chorus of protest, world leaders will be forced to hear us and act.”
Bono, co-founder of ONE said:
“This week we are reminded of the words of the great agitator Nelson Mandela –
“Like slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome. Millions of people… are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free. Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.”
Since the 1970s Nelson Mandela has called upon artists and bands to use their platform to fight injustice. We were honoured then, we’re honoured now.”
Ms Kidjo and U2 are joining other artists, including Ed Sheeran, Will.i.am, Mumford and Sons, Elvis Costello, Sting, Green Day, Kid Rock, Rokia Traoré and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to urge and inspire a new generation to take action in the fight against the injustices of extreme poverty and hunger. Artists from Mali, Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, USA, UK, France, Japan, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Canada and Belgium have joined up.
Exclusive videos of their brand new performances of iconic protest songs are available at one.org/protestsongs and on Spotify.
Ed Sheeran, who has recorded a new version of Bob Dylan’s classic, “Masters of War” for agit8, said:
“Music is a powerful tool in galvanizing people around an issue. There’s no better way to get your point across than to put it in a beautiful song.”
Throughout history, great injustices like slavery and apartheid have been overcome when public protest became too loud for politicians to ignore. Today, with 20,000 children dying needlessly every day from poverty and hunger, ONE says it’s time to turn up the volume. Urgent action now could bring the virtual elimination of extreme poverty by 2030, but there’s real jeopardy, so we are calling for millions more voices to urge those in power to finish the job.
Adrian Lovett, ONE’s Europe Executive Director said:
“It’s an outrage that today 20,000 children will die needlessly from poverty and hunger. It’s a disgrace that millions are lost every week from developing countries’ funds to fight hunger and poverty because of dodgy natural resource deals, leaky budgets and corruption. We can stop this by people taking action together now.”
That’s why ONE is calling for Prime Minister David Cameron and the G8 to agree two things in the next week:
- To boost Africa’s food revolution, putting political momentum and transparent and accountable financial support behind African plans to develop agriculture, fight poverty and prevent chronic malnutrition.
- To unleash a transparency revolution so that aid, investment, budgets and financial centers all open up to allow citizens and investigators to stamp out corruption and ensure that tax revenues and other money are not lost from the fight against extreme hunger and poverty.
ONE has also collaborated with filmmakers, actors and activists including Richard Curtis, The Found Collective, Chiwetel Ejiofor and People Speak which is run by Colin Firth and Anthony Arnove to create a new 30-minute film which celebrates how protest, and its music, have catalyzed change and led to progress over the course of history. The film will be projected onto the iconic Tate Modern in London at 22:00BST on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.
The agit8 website
Visitors to one.org/protestsongs will be asked to take action ahead of the G8, and will find a diverse array of artists putting their own spin on classic protest songs. The site, built in collaboration with F#, will include video performances from everyone from internationally-known artists to street buskers, and gives users the opportunity to add their voice to the fight against extreme poverty. Also available through ONE’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, users can:
- Watch exclusive performances of major artists around the world performing their favorite protest songs, as well as video of pop-up performances taking place on London’s South Bank this week.
- Listen to protest song performances from new and original artists and access exclusive Spotify playlists.
- Learn more about the history of protest music, including in-depth background information for each song. Users can easily discover the history of the track, its writers, artist, and lyrics. A video featuring live performances of the song and a collection of alternate performances complete the experience.
- View beautiful photography – powered by Nokia – with photos from the event in London and images that reflect the power and spirit of the protest song, captured by both members of the public and professional photographers.
- Create your own shareable artwork on Facebook and Twitter with an innovative lyric cover art creator.
- Join ONE to unlock bonus features, photo and video content, and show support for your favorite protest cover song performed by YouTube music channels all-stars.
- Enter to win a free year of Spotify Premium.
ONE is a nonpartisan campaigning and advocacy organization of more than three million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease… because the facts show extreme poverty has already been cut in half and can be virtually eliminated by 2030. Learn more at ONE.org.
ONE is an international member of the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign in the UK, a coalition of more than 200 organisations which have joined together to campaign for action by the G8 on the issue of global hunger.