In this desperate time of upheaval, as our earth is besieged by unbridled industry pillaging the land and exploiting its riches — embodied by mountaintop-removal coal mining and fracking to extract natural gas — it is urgent we activate a moral and creative counterweight to intellectual arguments for climate change: awaken the spirit of shared humanity and responsibility that lives in each of us.
Aberfan speaks directly to what is at the heart of our survival as fully actualized beings on a thriving planet — the need to reconnect with our own souls, where one realizes the interrelatedness of all things and greed does not overpower the value of life. Only then are we impelled to critically examine the impact that our daily choices are having on our environment.
In bearing witness to the specific atrocity of Aberfan we expose our present challenge. In sensing what is greater than ourselves, we re-envision a sustainable and just future.
On October 21, 1966, in the small mining village of Aberfan, Wales, a man-made mountain of coal waste catastrophically collapsed on a primary school, killing 116 children and 28 adults.
At the crossroads of modern music, experimental media and environmental justice, Aberfan catapults this disaster into the present. Music will be presented both in exhibition, live performance and participatory installation with photographs taken by Life photojournalist IC Rapoport.
Laura Siersema is composer of Aberfan (7 pianos, voice and tools of rescue), a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization. All donations are tax deductible. Your contribution ensures we can return to the studio to complete its recording.
Photo IC Rapoport, Aberfan, 1966