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Member Cities' Activities
Manchester International Festival kicks off with Yoko Ono's 'Bells for Peace'
July 4, 2019
Report by Sean Morris, UK & Ireland Mayors for Peace Chapter Secretary
On July 4th, over 4,000 people took part in a mass participation event in Manchester city centre that formally launched the 2019 Manchester International Festival.
'Bells for Peace' was created in cooperation with the internationally renowned artist and peace campaigner Yoko Ono. She invited the people of Manchester to join in Cathedral Gardens on the 4th July to ring in a message of peace to the world. From hand bells to bicycle bells, thousands of celebratory bells from home and abroad joined in ringing and singing out for peace, and to welcome the world to Manchester.
In her invitation, Yoko Ono said “People of Manchester (and beyond), come and join together to send a message of peace to the world. The bell is a beautiful sound, a peaceful sound and that’s why it’s desperately needed now. More than ever we must come together to heal each other, and the world. The beauty of this piece will break the sky and more. Ring for peace! PEACE is POWER. I love you all”.
In the run-up to the event, Manchester International Festival had been inviting members of the public to take part in a series of workshops to make their own unique bells to bring to the event.
At the event, held in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Manchester, as well as the Leader of Manchester City Council and a representative of the Embassy of Japan, young people cooperated with Yoko Ono to lead an event that included innovative films of Manchester as a city of peace, the ringing of bells to a mantra provided by Yoko Ono and the singing of the Yoko Ono / John Lennon song 'Give Peace a Chance'.
The film presented at the event showcased Manchester's work with 'Project G' and its City Centre Peace Trail. It also showed the work of 'Carisma' in building up safer, peaceful communities in south Manchester and the work of Music Action International, which helps refugees and asylum seekers with music therapy and to show off their musical talents to the wider world.
The Festival takes place from 4 - 21 July and has an eclectic and exciting cultural programme of premieres as well as many community arts events.
|Lord Mayor of Manchester ringing a 'Bell for Peace'||Mantra provided by Yoko Ono|
|(Photos courtesy of Manchester City Council)|