14-18 NOW was excited to work with WOMAD, a festival that showcases the role of music and performance in world culture, during the first season of centenary commemorations. Like 14-18 NOW, WOMAD recognises the vital part played by the arts in the maintenance and enrichment of a society’s shared heritage.
A specially-commissioned new work by Zimbabwean music collective Siyaya showed how a healthy musical culture can help to sustain communities through conflict and political upheaval. The Shona name ‘Siyaya’ means ‘we are on the move’, as befitting a high-energy group of musicians, percussionists, vocalists and dancers. Originally from Bulawayo, their work with schools and community programmes has shown how the continuity of culture can transcend tumultuous social change. This new work, created specifically for this concert, was performed amidst their traditional repertoire of songs and dances.
Siyaya’s new work was co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and WOMAD.