By Paul Downer and Rob Neil
It was the day after the Euro Cup Final that never was for the England Football team. Oh, the Lions roared loudly, but just fell short at the very final hurdle. So, for many there was a need for an energy boost to put that result behind us. There was also an early need to demonstrate solidarity with those young England Footballers who had been the subject of horrendous racial abuse overnight. Racist abuse that was triggered by missed penalties in what was a nail biting, photo-finish of a shoot-out between what most considered the two best performing teams in the tournament i.e., England and the eventual winners, Italy.
What better way then, than for us at Unfinished Business Radio to organise and deliver an Artful Inquiry for the wonderful people at Mayvin.
Unfinished Business Radio is based in Harrow and was created by ourselves [Paul & Rob] to promote a more socially just and inclusive Borough, City and Country. Yep, we’d love nothing more than to hear those three lion’s roar. We believe now, more than ever, all our souls need to be championed and celebrated, through individual and collective action. We believe in the power of activism and, moreover, we understand that LOVE is at the heart of our shared passion for a better world.
In applying this call to action to our session with Mayvin, we curated an engaging playlist of five evocative songs that have resonated with our own friendship and growing activism over the past three and a half decades. Playing each of these beautiful songs over the course of our hour together, we asked each member of the audience to reflect on their own emotions, to share their feelings and to capture their thoughts, all of which were stimulated by the songs they had just listened to. We invited those that felt comfortable to share with the wider group the emotions, feelings and thoughts that were provoked, which then provided a wonderful opportunity in plenary for a collective exploration of the issues raised by these songs. Our ‘Unfinished Business’ playlist, especially chosen for this Mayvin audience, covered a diverse range of genres, themes and, indeed, artists. Oh, and for those interested there is a link to that same playlist via Spotify listed at the bottom of this blog.
The response from the session was overwhelming. Many had never heard some of the music we played before. Everyone was engaged in active listening, we even ended up with spot of spontaneous (very unrehearsed) dancing from Rob! Confessional, emotional and genuinely transformational, for some of our participants which included reflections on a range of topics including privilege, gender violence, racial injustice as well as the edifying power of music to lift spirits and bring people/communities together. WOW!!!! All of that in a one-hour session.
This stimulating and inspiring session was closed by Mayvin co-founder James Traeger who departed ready and eager to continue a collective journey with Mayvin and its community at future Artful Knowing/Inquiry sessions as we all listen to the change.
To access the Playlist for the session, click here.
For all things Unfinished Business Radio including past shows click here.