Without Borders - Seeds of Inspiration 2016 Comes to a Close
Seeds of Inspiration 2016 – and the Caux summer season – ended in a riot of balloons. Each balloon had a label, on which a participant had described what the five-day event had meant to them: ‘Joy!’ ‘Unconditional welcome’, ‘Le donner et le recevoir (giving and receiving)’, ‘The biggest is to forgive each other’, ‘Rest and adventure’….
The theme of the event was ‘Without barriers’. Two refugee singer-songwriters, Jean Paul Samputu from Rwanda and Mer Ayang from South Sudan, moved participants with their music and stories. Crossing Borders, a performance devised specially for the conference, used song, dance and drama to reflect on the lives of its creators, Sudanese refugee Samah Bushra and British priest, academic and musician June Boyce-Tilman.
Lynne Barker, a textile artist from the UK, invited delegates to join her in creating a tapestry made up of individually sewn hexagons. She told how, after the sudden death of her husband, she had embroidered his shirts and created an art installation exploring her grief. Her story of bereavement, forgiveness and acceptance stimulated deep conversations in the daily community group meetings which followed the plenary Together Times.
Other highlights included Commedia Gillet, Swedish clowns who help primary school children to talk about bullying, and June Boyce-Tilman’s presentation on the music’s power to heal and connect. The members of a group from Nottingham, UK, had only met each other on the flight to Switzerland. Aged from 17 to over 80, they included Hindus, Muslims, Christians and a Rastafarian. They wove their stories into a presentation on unity in diversity and returned home determined to work together on local issues.