The ONE Campaign this week launched agit8, a unique music-based campaign designed to build pressure for action against extreme poverty in the crucial week leading up to the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
The campaign includes a digital music platform featuring new video recordings of classic protest songs, a new Richard Curtis film that will be projected on the iconic façade of the Tate Modern in London and impromptu live performances.
‘’Music is a powerful tool in galvanizing people around an issue,’’ said Ed Sheeran, who recorded a new version of Bob Dylan's classic, ‘’Masters of War’’ for agit8. ’’There’s no better way to get your point across than to put it in a beautiful song.’’
Sheeran is joining other artists, including Mumford & Sons, U2, Elvis Costello, Angelique Kidjo, Sting, Rokia Traore and Macklemore to urge and inspire a new generation to take action in the fight against the injustices of extreme poverty and hunger. Artists from Mali, Senegal, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Algeria, USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Belgium are taking part. Exclusive videos of their performances are available at one.org/protestsongs.
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. Extreme poverty can be virtually eliminated by 2030, but it won’t happen on its own, which is why ONE is calling for millions more voices to urge those in power to finish the job.
The first step towards this goal is ensuring the right decisions are made at the G8 Summit on June 17-18. ONE is calling on UK Prime Minister David Cameron to agree an ‘’Enniskillen Declaration’’ on the issues of malnutrition and transparency, so that people in Africa can not only produce enough decent food, but also get the information they need to fight corruption and hold their governments accountable.
To illustrate the power of protest, legendary filmmaker and activist Richard Curtis has created a new 30-minute film which celebrates how protest, and its music, has 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.
‘’Music and advocacy are natural allies,’’ said Michael Elliott, Chief Executive Officer of ONE. ’’We’ve seen the two come together many times to shape and change society. Music has been a powerful force throughout history and now we want world leaders to hear that we’re serious about ending extreme poverty by 2030.’’
Adrian Lovett, Executive Director Europe added: ‘’When people act together, mountains can be moved. Next week’s G8 summit could take a big step towards ending the injustice of extreme poverty, but only if people raise their voices. That’s why artists from all over the world are getting on their soapboxes to inspire millions of people to make a noise and demand action.