|This SPIRIT OF THE ACT Tour is an Interactive Concert Performance which offers an excellent opportunity for music lovers, students, professionals, educators, and appreciators of all ages to come together and study, explore & grapple with SLAVERY in our MODERN WORLD. This tour focuses on the links between the abolition of slavery centuries ago and contemporary manifestations of slavery and enslavement. It deals directly with issues of racism and social injustice as we experience them now, and how we can use this to inspire us to embrace new ways to work to transform the legacy of the past.
COMMENTS ABOUT “SPIRIT OF THE ACT”
- “Maybe Ben’s name is really “BOB” in a passionate and dramatic evening of music, Ben Okafor brought together the spirit of Bob Dylan and Bob Marley.
“The cry of protests for the down trodden and the dream of a new world order found expression in these rasping lyrics and memorable music, so clearly delivered from the heart to an audience across the ages that stood and applauded him to the rafters. “
“Ben’s ministry of music is a bit like that of the Holy Spirit: he comes to comfort the disturbed but also to disturb the comfortable. You must hear him.”
WHY BEN OKAFOR’S VIEWS ON SLAVERY?????
–Segun Gilbert (Music Director)
“Well, for me personally Ben’s view on slavery goes beyond just standing and singing on stage. He was part of the artists called upon by famous Bishop of South Africa, Bishop Desmond Tutu to HELP FIGHT APARTHEID through his music.”
–Julian Newcom (Professor of Law – Washington State)
“Personally, I appreciate what Ben is doing to promote the eradication of ignorance about slavery and its impact on current and future generations. It would be a delight to see his work presented here to American audiences where attitudes to physical and mental slavery do not appear to be as passionate as they are in Europe.”
WORKING WITH BEN OKAFOR ON A PROJECT
–Alison Webster (Social Responsibility Adviser – Diocese of Oxford – North Hinksey/Oxford)
“In the Diocese of Oxford we wanted a project that would focus on the links between the abolition of slavery two hundred years ago and contemporary manifestations of slavery and enslavement. Our conviction as planners of the initiative is that human freedom is indivisible. Unless all are free, then no-one can truly be free. We wanted to find a new way into issues of racism and social injustice as we experience them now, and to use this to inspire us to embrace new ways to work to transform the legacy of the past. We wanted a project that could take place in a range of communities and venues, involving people from a wide range of ages and backgrounds, and that would be different each time according to the uniqueness about each place. We wanted the local hosts to determine the focus for their event, so that the project would always be apposite and relevant. Above all, we wanted to enage people at the level of their hearts as well as their minds; their guts as well as their intellect. That’s why we decided on a project that worked through the creative arts.
“The Spirit of the Act encapsulates all the ingredients one could hope for. Ben Okafor’s versatility as an artist; his responsiveness and sensitivity as an educator, and his warmth and charisma as a person combine to create a unique product. Learning with Ben is like learning with no-one else. He accepts and respects people just as they are, and takes this as his starting point. He makes himself vulnerable in telling his own story in such a way that calls out personal stories from others. He trusts first, and as a result, is trusted by others; he reveals aspects of himself first, and so calls forth revelations from others. He affirms first, thereby making it safe for people to open themselves up to change, challenge and transformation – and to engage with their own creativity. Young and old alike respond to Ben with warmth and the full depth of their humanity. Ben’s workshops are so much more than workshops. They are music and poetry-infused encounters that leave you with an acute sense of the reality of the injustices that surround us in our world, but also with a deep sense of hope and an expansiveness of soul that urges you upwards and onwards in determination to make a difference. Ben somehow enables you to touch the love at the heart of us all, and to believe that it is this, in the end, that will always win out.”