Refugees helped by a night of performance, celebration and hope in Palma12th May 2017

Passage of Hope, a performance to benefit Dignity360 and Proemaid, two organisations working to help refugees, will take place at the Centre de Cultura ‘Sa Nostra’ on 19 May.

I spoke to Drew Donovan, one of the organisers of this hugely worthwhile event.

IMG_2056-minOriginally from Nebraska in the USA, Drew studied acting at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in Manhattan. Here he met Sandra, who would become his wife. Sandra grew up in Mallorca. After 10 years in New York, Drew and Sandra moved to the island in 2004. Today, Drew works as a freelance actor on the island, directs, produces, teaches, and works in commercials production. Sandra is the co-founder of the popular Earth Yoga studios in Santa Catalina, Palma.

Who are Dignity360 and Proemaid?

Our friend Christer Soderberg, an amazing activist in his own right, recommended these two groups to us.

Dignity360 is a grass-roots group based in Mallorca that collects clothes and other useful items around the island to give to refugees. So far, they’ve sent four 12-metre shipping containers to Greece and 7 to Syria. Dignity360 also works doing educational outreach with refugees that have arrived here in Mallorca, teaching them Spanish and English and supporting them in their new life.

Proemaid was founded by a group of fire fighters from Seville.  Four people from the organisation are from the Balearics. They conduct search and rescue operations, helping to bring to shore refugee boats from Turkey. Their work is incredible.

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What will the evening involve?

It will be a cultural event of theatre – including short scenes and original monologues written for the event – dance, yoga, photography, live music and singing, original musical compositions and poetry. Almost 20 artists from around Europe and North America are performing for free. This will be an inspiring, beautiful evening and a one-off, original event full of powerful images, laughs and tears.

It seems to me that in the past couple of years, people in Mallorca have become much more active when it comes to organising events in support of tackling world crises. Would you say that was true and why do you think it’s the case?

I think people all over the world are beginning to stand up and get involved.  Recent events, elections and nationalistic rhetoric are stirring us to defend what we believe to be morally right. We must take care of each other and the world in which we live, not just accept that tragedies and inequalities are unavoidable. Environmental, social and other concerns can be addressed when we all collectively begin to wake up and take action.  I don’t know that Mallorca is special in this.

Much of what we’re seeing combines art and activism in some way. Why do you think this is the form activism is taking in Mallorca?

Art is the mirror of our soul.  It is the fire that stirs us.  Wakes us up. Activism has always found a voice in the arts.  It is free thinkers and creative voices – the first to be silenced in a dictatorship, for obvious reasons – that create cultural, social and technological change.  Mallorca has always been a creative place for both locals and international incomers and I’m happy that the two sides are coming together to perform, celebrate and act.

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Thanks, Drew.

I can’t think of a better opportunity to enjoy great performances, meet like minds and do your bit for a seriously good cause.

Attending Passage of Hope

Tickets are selling fast and there’s likely to be a big demand on the night so get there early or reserve your ticket for this inspiring event by contacting passagehope@gmail.com. Sa Nostra Centre de Cultura is at Calle de la Concepció 12 in the centre of Palma, just off Jaime III. The performance starts at 8 pm.

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