‘Where Have All The Flowers Gone’: A convergence of music, art and message

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May 05, Imphal :  Imphal Talkies and Folksy Triumph have jointly organized a three-day-long music and arts extravaganza from May 1-3 at Konsang Lampak, Phayeng at the foothill of Phayeng Umang (forest).

Inspired by music and environmental activism of late American folk singer Pete Seeger, the two homegrown bands of Manipur have been organizing the event every year since 2014, with an aim to respect, honour and protect environment by highlighting environmental issues and spreading awareness to the people of Manipur. ‘Where All The Flowers Gone’ is the first of its kind in the state. The first and second edition of the festival took place at Chingnungkok, Lamlai in 2014 and Andro Santhei Park in 2015, respectively.

Two days ahead of the festival starting from the historic May Day, the organizers conducted tree plantation drives in various places of Imphal and Phayeng. Main highlights of the festival include painting competition for school students, performance and photo exhibition by individual photographers and art fair on environment related themes.

On 97th birth anniversary of Pete Seeger the organizers commemorate the day (May 3) by carrying out activities which the singer-environmentalist held close to his heart and fundamental to protection and preservation of environment.

11-A view of audience watching musical performances
11- A view of audience watching musical performances

Indian singer and songwriter Susmit Bose, a friend of Pete Seeger spearheaded the musical evening at the venue. Susmit is known for his songs dealing with social issues, human rights, global peace and non-violence.

According to the organizers, the festival not only provided a platform to the youth of Manipur to express themselves through various forms of art but also gave an opportunity to infuse a sense of environmental awareness in the hearts and minds of the people. The neighbouring khuls (villages)  also witnessed the convergence of music, arts and aesthetic values of the people and the need to stay close to nature. This community bonding is the need of the hour and pertinent for any activity to be taken up on a larger scale for the protection of our environment.

Pete Seeger was not only a musician but a visionary and had initiated a number of environmental projects infused with his songs like conserving a lake at Beacon township, planting trees and creating a space for children and people to take and have a moment with environment.

See day 1 gallery in http://kanglaonline.com/2016/05/where-have-all-the-flowers-gone-3-0-at-konsang-lampak-phayeng-photo-gallery-day-1/

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