Beating a thousand drums for Palestine

This year’s Constitution Hill Human Rights Festival focused on the war in Gaza

| By

Participants drummed in unison at the “1000 Drums for Palestine”, part of the Constitution Hill Human Rights Festival. Photos: Ihsaan Haffejee

The sound of drums reverberated through Constitution Hill in Johannesburg last week. The event – “One thousand drums for Palestine” – was part of the precinct’s annual Human Rights Festival.

“You don’t have to be able to know how to drum, it’s about joining together with a group of people, to come together for a common message,” said Bobby Rodwell, the event organiser.

“Music cuts across age, race, gender and religion; it’s a language that unites people,” she said.

“We want to raise more awareness in South Africa on what is happening in Gaza,” she said.

“It’s also building solidarity and inspiring people to contribute in their own small ways to help the people of Palestine,” she said.

Participants waved Palestinian flags, beat drums and chanted: “Free Palestine.”

A young child from Gaza, called up on stage to recite a short poem, received a rapturous welcome by the crowd.

The sound of hundreds of drums reverberated through Constitution Hill in Johannesburg on Human Rights Day.

After the drumming, a panel discussion with author Zukiswa Wanner was held on the stage. In 2020, Wanner became the first woman in Africa to receive the Goethe Medal, an award given to “non-Germans who have performed outstanding service for international cultural relations”. She recently announced a decision to give back the prestigious prize, due to Germany’s uncritical support for Israel. She said she supports a full cultural boycott of Israel.

“Germany has been complicit in the on-going genocide. They are one of the largest arms exporters to Israel. In Germany, cultural workers have been silenced when they show support for Palestine. Even German Jewish artists are being censored by the government for speaking out,” said Wenner.

She added that cultural workers and artists have a big role to play in advocating for a free Palestine and should boycott all Israeli events until Palestinians also enjoy human rights.

The Human Rights Festival at the Constitution Hill precinct ended on Sunday. it was free to the public.

A participant held up this poster during the event.

TOPICS:  Israel-Palestine

Next:  Cape Town school in the dark because it owes thousands to Eskom

Previous:  Minister’s plan could wipe out African penguins, say scientists

© 2024 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.