War and Music

Ukraine and the implications of war for music

Nick Hobbs by Tasha Birch
Sean Jacobs
Alexandra Archetti by Lars Opstad
Michal Kaščák by Marko Erd

Chaired by Nick Hobbs (UK/Turkey), Charmworks;

with Alexandra Archetti (Norway), Oslo World;
Sean Jacobs (South Africa/USA), Africa Is a Country;
Michal Kaščák (Slovakia), Pohoda festival

Following the invasion by Russia with the support of Belarus on February, 24th, this year, Ukraine is being devastated by a shocking war of incredible brutality. There are heated debates about whether we should boycott Russia and Belarus and all things Russian and Belarussian completely or in part - and if not, what should we do? Debates made more turbulent by accusations of a kind of negligent racism because Europe and Nato have reacted much more strongly in the case of Ukraine than they have in the case of wars in the Global South and elsewhere. As musicians and cultural workers, we can look at ways of responding to this war, and other violent conflicts, that are meaningful (not just slogans and empty gestures), that avoid the simplistic, and that do not reject the efforts, solidarity and culture of those who are against the war yet in nationality only may be held to be on the aggressor’s side.