MAC ALUNGE INTERVIEWS SALATIEL ON ‘THE ROLE OF ARTISTS IN PEACEBUILDING’ – A RAY OF HOPE – THE ILLS OF VIOLENT EXTREMISM IN SOUTHWEST CAMEROON; STRAWACADEMY DOCUMENTARY, FUNDED BY UNESCO
Salatiel (Music Artist): Personally the crisis did a lot of harm to my life and career because my whole life changed due to the crisis. I used to live in Buea and we had to leave in 2018 and it was not just me leaving. It was me leaving and transferring my whole business to Douala where it’s safer.
The crisis had a very huge impact on my life because I had to move myself, move my whole team, and the whole label to a new town. I was just from building my studio in Buea and you know what it means moving your base completely, changing your whole life, going to a new town and there are places that are too dangerous to go for shows. You have fans in different areas of the country but in some particular areas you can’t meet with the people, and at the same time it’s also a civil responsibility being an artist, the man of the people, to talk about the crisis and make it to sensitize the people about what is happening in the middle of that. Getting backlashes of different kinds, people suspecting you for things which you really don’t know much about or are not part of.
Salatiel gave very good points on the role of artists in peacebuilding and stressed on artists’ consciousness in the media space to enhance peace and reduce incitement to violence through hate speech.
- Mac Alunge: What do you think is the responsibility of artists in peacebuilding? What is your perspective in that?
- Salatiel: An artist is not different from any other civilian but may be a civilian who is seen by more people than the regular person. So I mean it’s our own job to sensitize the people and make them also see the consequences of our war actions because at the end of the day, we all are responsible for what is happening, we talk to our leaders for those that we can meet and try to see if we could get sustainable solutions to the problem, but at the same time doing a lot of charity works.
The role of Cameroonian Artists (actors, spoken word artists, musicians) in peacebuilding is a very important aspect discussed in the documentary. The Music artist Salatiel makes an important point concerning this. He points out that it is the role of artists to sensitize the people making them see the consequences of our war actions which have to come to an end. As a musician for instance, you have fans who listen to and love your music. They follow you on social media handles so as to be up to date with you. Already, you are a voice that a lot people listen to. So, using the media space to sensitize people against violence would have a huge positive effect moving towards the direction of peacebuilding.
Official Artist Websites
Follow Mac Alunge here:
#MacAlunge #defyhatenow #UNESCO