Laura María Calderón Cuevas
Brua | bruapodcasts.com
For this episode, we have invited the creative alumna of the European Master in Human Rights and Democratisation who conceived the jingle for the podcasts The Road Less Traveled: Laura María Calderón Cuevas.
Laura grew up in a family who enjoyed the arts and encouraged her passion for music and dance. She started being aware very young of the inequalities in Colombia. She understood the power of singing and bringing people together, while working in New York at the UN during the day and playing in a band at night. She realised that music could be a catalyst for change and that she could link her art to her activism. For her master thesis, she based herself on the multicultural system of human rights and the concept of the right to knowledge as conceived by Professor Boaventura de Sousa Santos. Music transforms our reality. How do we put into practice our human rights knowledge? How do we transform that knowledge and integrate the arts?
Since she graduated, she has been doing music workshops in the refugee camp near Thessaloniki. She also started a new project: composing lullabies with migrant mothers on an individual basis. In most of those songs, the mothers talk about their wishes for their children and their wishes for a better life. What brings her joy in her work: the smiles of people at the end of the workshops. During the workshops, everyone feels equal and is at the same level of vulnerability.
Her advice to graduates who want to combine art and activism: If there is any art that you love, share that love with others. People will resonate with that love and support those who believe in themselves. Now I understand the power and impact of music.
Many music pieces give her strength, but she has one song in particular that she listens to every day:
Cumbia Poder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJsoAUOWdAg
Musicians For Human Rights (MFHR)
Founded in 2009 by world-renowned horn player Alessio Allegrini and a group of musicians and humanists active on four continents, MFHR encourages musicians of all levels—students, professionals, and amateurs—as well as audiences to promote a culture of human rights and social engagement and consider how they can advance the well-being of others. The mission of Musicians For Human Rights is to foster a culture of humanism through music, in support of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We have to think about a new, multicultural conceptualization of human rights
Laura María Calderón Cuevas
Laura María Calderón Cuevas was born in Bogota, Colombia, but is currently living in Thessaloniki, Greece. She is a multidisciplinary Teaching Artist, Singer, Dancer, and Internationalist with a Master's degree in Human Rights and Democratization. Since 2016, she has been the Music-Centered Workshop Senior Leader and Project Manager in Greece at Musicians For Human Rights, developing community music workshops, including singing, body percussion, and percussion lessons using recycled materials, and composing personal lullabies with pregnant women and mothers with babies, mostly in refugee camps in Northern Greece. She is also the founder of Create your Lullaby, a platform open to anyone who would like to compose a lullaby for their children. Laura Maria uses art as an empowering tool and a catalyst for social change, developing spaces of integration, respect, and freedom.