“Offener Himmel” – Memories of an incredible event
Salzburg. As if it were yesterday…
Kids – dressed like suns – were dancing in a green park. Parents lifted their arms up high into the air.
Street Artists designed Graffittis at sun set. Performances on Justice made people stop, watch and think.
Percussion and grooves brought good vibes to pedestrians in the setting sun on a metro station.
Young pupils went up on bridges – some in costumes others in their daily street wear. Through performances they showed how to build bridges of peace and how to embrace all – no matter how different, repeatedly saying out loud “welcom, there is room for more”.
On the “Markatsteg” – the archbishop of Salzburg – Franz Lackner – sold news papers and made time for informal chats.
Priests sat on that same bridge, offereing their ears, hearts and prayer – and if wanted – a possibility to confess and receive reconciliation.
At the Mozartsteg (yet another bridge crossing the river Salzach) people gave away little presents: candles and a prayer card – it was an invitation to cross the bridge mindfully, with a prayer of mercy and the wish to forgive those that brought hurt into their lives…
When the sun set and the sky got dark, a candle light procession startet along the river into the City center.
Refugees mingled with the Salzburg inhabitants – carrying a smile on their face, a candle light and signs in their hands saying “for peace and human kindness”….
And then the candle light procession proceeded to another highlight: several people stood on a plaza. Immersed in the dark, they held a little torch light in one hand and read … no, not a city map, but read texts from the bible. Different parts of the Holy Scripture. All at once. Some in german. Others in Italian and again others in foreign languages. An awesome experience …
The procession continued on to the dome. More and more people came. Until there was no more space to sit. And still more people came. They began to sit even on the floor of the Salzburg Cathedral.
When the “Opera Concert for Peace” began, thousands of people listened and opened their hearts. Rita Movsesian sang “let it be” – the original from the Beatles. This was the “premiere” for Rita´s added verses in arabic – a gift, to make the newly arrived refugees feel welcome…. More songs of opera singers accompanied by a great orchestra followed… The evening was crowned with the song “we are the world” where all the lead-singers held hands and all visitors began to sing… “we are the world”. It was a sign. A strong sing for peace. A moment where the “offener Himmel” (translation of the events name: “open heaven”) was almost touchable.
The “offener Himmel” – event continued for several more days in October 2015.
Come, feel & enjoy the spirit of the “offener Himmel” as if you were there yourself, just yesterday!
VIDEO “SPIRIT OF SALZBURG”:
THANKS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Thank you to Wolfgang Müller, who had assigned me to give a photo workshop with the subject “Spirituality through the Lens”. That workshop was held during the first two days of that Mega-Event “offener Himmel”, which did last for a whole week.
Listen to Rita Movsesian´s version of “let it be” when you watch this video which I created so you can feel a bit of that “Spirit of Salzburg”, captured during the “offener Himmel” | “open heaven” in October 2015.
Special thanks to ALL who contributed to this video material – all visible and invisible organizers, helping hands, participants, performing artists, actors, musicians, children, refugees, etc.
© 2015 video photos & production by Claudia Henzler
SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS & THANKS TO ALL
in and behind the scenes. First of all: thanks to the organizers of the event “Offener Himmel” 2015 in Salzburg
Wolfgang Müller & his team | www.offenerhimmel.at
Opera Concert for Peace
Hubert Paul Kuchar, Andrea Dammelhart with all singers, orchestra & performing artists
© Music: Let it be (original: the Beatles)
interpreted & sung by Rita Movsesian
© Audio Distribution by Hans Donauer
Romy Seidl, Moderation, ORF
Bernie Rothauer – Percussion Trio,
May your day be joyful.
Yours, Claudia Henzler
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