Solidarity Park

Memorial campaign for International Brigadistas of the Ciudad de Barcelona

Song, struggle and solidarity, past and present.

Song, struggle and solidarity, past and present. That was last weekend for Solidarity Park, a weekend that linked Malaga, Malgrat and Toulouse together through associations that fight in many ways to keep alive the memory of those who have gone before us, all too often forgotten.

This year members of the “Desbandá” Association, who commemorate the people of Malaga and the surrounding area who fled the guns and bombs of fascist troops and planes in a 5-day march to Almeria in February 1937, came to Catalonia to commemorate those who fled into exile in France 2 years later. Their route took them past the Malgrat Solidarity Park memorial to the International Brigaders who died 3 months after the “Desbandá”, where Solidarity Park members and other associations welcomed them and shared songs and greetings.

Meanwhile, in Toulouse, at a gathering of choirs who met at our festival in Malgrat last year,  links with the Civil War and exile that followed were easy to find: Spanish and Catalan spoken by people like our translator Isabelle, granddaughter of exiled republicans; Wendy, daughter of the International Brigader Sidney Shostek who was killed at Belchite.

The gathering, brilliantly organised by local choir Cri du Coeur who will be back at this year’s Solidarity Park Festival, was a chance share, practise, hear and sing songs of struggle from around the world, powerful songs sung by peasants, workers, women, partisans – all too often forgotten but recovered by Cri du Choeur and La Cantariza (France), Cor Cochion (Wales) and Zbor Praksa (Croatia). Good fun and fantastic atmosphere. Another chance too for us to present Les aigües de l’oblit and Solidarity Park – both well received – and build our links with artists from other countries!

We rounded all this off by leading the choir contingent with the SP banner and Cor Cochion with theirs on the huge May 1st demonstration, where the attack on public pensions was undoubtedly the issue. Solidarity in action!

Thanks to everyone involved but especially those of you who provided us with accommodation, translation and food. See you soon in Malgrat.

Cri du Choeur will be Singing a concert at this years Solidarity Park festival on 3 June 2023. For more info click here

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