Wonderful heart of flags for Syria on Chalford hillside

Posted on 22. Sep, 2013 by in Arts, Community, Environment & Nature, Featured, News, Politics & Campaigns

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Have a Heart for Syria – Stroud Sept 2013

Syria2The giant heart traveled from Cornwall to Stroud in show of solidarity for Syrian people and to raise money for Oxfam’s Crisis Appeal. On Saturday 21 September 2013 the heart made up of 2,000 flags was installed by Gloucestershire couple Jimmy Edmonds who is a filmmaker and photographer and his wife Jane Harris a counsellor and psychotherapist – with help from Caroline Cleave (who with Franca Westaway) was one of the two artists behind the idea.

In this film you will meet Jimmy, Jane and Caroline and see something of the flag after it was installed in Chalford near Stroud. Plus a song from Jon Cleave of Fisherman’s Friends. Apologies for poor sound quality from camcorder on a windy hillside.

See also film of the High Street protest on 31st August: http://stroudcommunity.tv/stroud-against-military-intervention-in-syria/

The deepening crisis has seen the number of Syrian refugees soar to two million.  Oxfam’s response has already helped over 200,000 people and the aid agency is aiming to reach up to 650,000 more as soon as possible with shelter, food and water. All money raised will go towards the charity’s work to provide w

ater and sanitation facilities in basic and overcrowded camps to help thousands of Syrian refugees.

Jimmy who is 63 is quoted in the Oxfam press release saying: “We became involved after visiting Caroline and her husband Jon in Cornwall not long after the chemical weapons attack in Damascus.  Caroline explained about their Heart for Syria installation and it immediately struck a chord with us.   The prospect of foreign US led bombing campaign in Syria was very real at that time and the danger of a further escalation of the war with even more casualties.  We felt that even small actions like these can make a big contribution to ‘giving peace a chance’.

“When Caroline impassioned about what such an exodus this might mean for her home town we immediately thought of Stroud – I could see the gun emplacements on the hills surrounding our town and the streams of people trying to escape through our beautiful five valleys – so it was but a short step to offering to help install the Heart for Syria in our area and to help it on its way round the country.”

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Oxfam is calling for world leaders to reach a real and peaceful solution to the crisis.  Too many lives have been torn apart by the conflict, with more than 100,000 dead, two million refugees having fled to neighbouring countries, and the stability of the wider region at stake.

Jimmy who is also a film editor has extensive knowledge of the Middle East as he has cut many documentaries for British and American TV networks including “My Revolutionary Road” in which Nel Hadayet presents stories from the Arab Spring (BBC 2012), “Selling Jesus”  about Christian fundamentalists in Egypt (BBC 2003) and “Holy Unholy Land’ stories from across the Israel/Palestine divide (BBC 1998).

Jimmy and Jane also make films including “Say Their Name” for The Compassionate Friends, a charity that helps bereaved parents and siblings.  The couple’s work and personal experience of loss helped them empathise with those suffering bereavement in Syria’s ongoing civil war.

See some of Jimmy and Jane’s films on Stroud Community TV at:
http://stroudcommunity.tv/say-their-name-by-beyond-goodbye-and-the-compassionate-friends/
http://stroudcommunity.tv/beyond-goodbye-very-moving-and-inspiring-film/

For more information on Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal go to http://www.oxfam.org.uk/syria

To sponsor the heart installation or make a donation go to http://www.justgiving.com/heart-for-syria

Thanks also to Julian and Hege Usborne for www.westleyfarm.co.uk

Film and edit by Philip Booth

About Philip

Director and Co-Founder of Stroud Community TV

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