Friday, April 09, 2010
Stories from far away
There is a ‘small town’ in the Upper Valley called White River Junction and in White River Junction, Vermont is a store called Revolution. If anyone says that there is nothing to do in the Upper Valley I say, “Oh yes there is, there is plenty to do around here, you have to know where to look – start in WRJ at Revolution.”
Kim Souza, founder and the co-owner of Revolution along with some other like minded people in Rio Blanco, as it is sometimes called, have turned what was becoming a run down town into a thriving community of arts and funky places to visit. Museum, antique stores, yoga, artist, and dance studios, a cable tv station, great places to eat amongst so much more can all be found in White River Junction. Last night (8th April, 2010) Kim hosted in her clothing store, the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars a band made up of people who really know and understand suffering, healing and sometimes forgiveness.
The evening began at around 7pm with a short viewing of part of the documentary by Zack Niles of the story of the All-Stars – their journey of losing their homes, and family members in a bloody revolution to freedom with music. After the 20 minutes showing the All-Stars played a great set until late into the evening. To see such devastation to a place such as Sierra Leone, to see the destruction to the land, buildings, but more importantly the people and then hear the music the survivors make is inspiring. We were told that the band we saw only represents a small part of the All-Stars, that the whole would populate a city! Some have lost their limbs, seen their family beaten to death or shot. The people that make up the band now play music to heal, transport people who have suffered like them. Their story is amazing, heroic (although I doubt they would call themselves that) and inspirational. As is their music, which I listen to with up lifted heart as I type.