The Way I See It: Emmanuel Jal; Artists Tackle Ten Existential Questions

New Statesman (1996), April 28, 2008 | Go to article overview

The Way I See It: Emmanuel Jal; Artists Tackle Ten Existential Questions


Emmanuel Jal is a Sudanese musician and former child soldier. His single "Warchild" was released earlier this month; the album of the same name follows on 12 May. For further information visit www.myspace.com/emmanueljal

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

1 Does art make a difference?

Of course, because it speaks to your mind, your soul and spirit. Sometimes words are not needed and the simplicity of expressing yourself through an art form is one of the best ways of communication.

2 Should politics and art mix?

When there is a need, they should mix. In times of war, starvation, hunger and injustice, such tragedy can only be put aside if you allow yourself to be uplifted through music, film and dance. It can be used to communicate messages to the masses and create awareness, to influence the people positively. A perfect example is Bob Marley: his message is still being heard today.

3 Is your work for the many or for the few?

It's for those who have ears.

4 If you were world leader, what would be your first law?

Everybody would have the right to worship whatever god they choose to. Equality, freedom of speech and expression. …

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