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Lament for Gaia

Lament for Gaia

Even if one could hide from the daily onslaught of gloomy headlines and environmental task force updates there have been plenty of events recently to raise alarm, from unprecedented deluges to epoch-making fires, from rising sea levels that threaten to engulf whole worlds, to hourly counts of species wiped from the planet.

It's enough to leave one anxious.

But what are those of us unskilled in environmental or natural sciences to do with our anxiety? How can we express our anxious feelings through anything but a lament? The arts answer that call, even if they do not lead directly to solutions.

Connecting intellect, affect and emotion ... in words, movement, images and sound, Violent Ends explores the space between science and imagination, from the global to the local, and toward a vision of action driven not just by anxiety, but by hope.

'Lament for Gaia'

Performers

A Chorus of Women has been commenting on issues at the heart of the community since 18 March 2003, when 150 Canberra women gathered in Parliament House to sing a lament for the people of Iraq as the Prime Minister announced that Australia was going to war. They have given over 120 public performances in Australia and Europe. Their music is written by composers and poets in the group, and many of their presentations incorporate original story, drama, dance and visual arts as well as song.

The Chorus of Women performing at the Violent Ends event
Photo: Karina West, National Museum of Australia.

Summary

Performed by A Chorus of Women, the choral song 'Lament for Gaia' is from Glenda Cloughley's The Gifts of the Furies. Based on 'The Homeric Hymn to Demeter', about 800BC, this song for the citizens' chorus mourns the breakdown of the relationship between people and the Earth as it teaches that renewal starts in lament.

Audio

Lyrics

pdf Read 'Lament for Gaia' (PDF 8kb), an excerpt from The Gifts of the Furies, Glenda Cloughly, 2009

Images

The Chorus of Women performing at the Violent Ends event
Photo: Rebecca Moloney, National Museum of Australia.
The Chorus of Women performing at the Violent Ends event
Photo: Rebecca Moloney, National Museum of Australia.