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Change is My Teacher by Daniel Haselwanter (Austria)

A friend of mine introduced me to the World Citizen Artists One for All Competition, and kept reminding me to send something in. Generally I am not a big fan of competitions, but I liked the idea that every applicant had to donate something to Safe Passage or GuaAfrica as an entry ticket for the competition, so to speak.

I started to work on a new song, but since I did not have enough time to finish it until the deadline I ended up sending in an already existing song 'Change Is My Teacher' that I thought matched the theme of the current competition quite well, too. It is actually a song that was co-written with my friend Claus Mikosch and it was featured in his documentary film, “Anicca- Embracing Change”, which came out last year.

I do not usually expect my work to have any impact at all; it is more like I just can’t help but address certain things. I do get some very positive feedback from different people from time to time and whenever it regards songs that have a certain message, I appreciate it all the more.

You cannot plan or control any outcome. But I learned that there are many more people who are touched by my music than I would imagine. While few people actually get in touch with you in turn and tell you how your work affects them, it is something precious to me when it happens.

One thing that I have always been passionate about is Indigenous people’s rights.

My song “Ancient Tribes” deals with this issue. Out of all the injustices that are happening in the world today, this for me is one of the most dramatic and urgent. But basically I feel passionate about anything that possibly makes our planet safer, healthier and fairer.

For me this includes human rights, like the right to education, health care and so on, as well as environmental issues (which are naturally closely connected to human rights, too) and of course animal rights issues, just to name a few. There are also a few causes that I have a more personal connection to because of friends that work in those fields, like food sovereignty and helping traumatised refugees.

Moving forward I will continue to write songs about topics that move me and support charitable projects in whichever way possible. I do have a couple of ideas for some own charitable projects, too. My advice to other musicians is: just be creative and active! Choose your projects wisely and if possible connect with other artists. Feeling powerless and hopeless from time to time is a common phenomenon amongst activists. Working together can prevent these setbacks significantly.


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