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La Marca by Lili del Sol (Colombia)

We live in a world so fast-paced that it is all too easy to fall into mindless routines and lose sight of what really matters. For me, solidarity is a tool that combats the noise of everyday life and allows you to look introspectively - recognising the connections between yourself and others. Practicing solidarity is thus essential to help and support our communities.

When I saw WCA’s “Solidarity for All” competition, it instantly spoke to me, and I knew I wanted to demonstrate my understanding of solidarity through my music. My nominated song, “La Marca” (“The Mark”), is my emotional and artistic attempt to address identity, solidarity and empathy. It aims to highlight how each person has their own unique mark, something specific that is defined by their environment, their culture and their story.

Each life is like one piece of a puzzle and working together in solidarity would allow us to bring together all of the pieces and build one united picture.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, it was hard to create. Stress, anxiety, and depression were closing in - but a few weeks later, I started to welcome my emotions, and this was when I noticed the silence and stillness surrounding me. I have always found silence to be the perfect backdrop for creation. During such a challenging period, I needed to use this newfound stillness to reconnect with my essence - with the simplicity of life. I was able to find inspiration from the chaos.

When I make music, I don’t usually follow a specific creative process- instead, I allow words or melodies to take me where they can, to tell a story connected with my emotions. I never know when inspiration might come, sometimes from a long walk, a sound, a voice or a new face. That’s why I usually write first thing when I wake up, and I carry my notebook with me everywhere to record any spontaneous ideas. In the past, my roots and the wounds I inherited from my ancestors specifically have brought stories to the surface which influenced me.

I come from Cali in Colombia, a city with hot weather and the sounds of traditional and salsa music drifting through the air. Thus, I have been surrounded by art and music since childhood. My family has always supported me and helped me improve my love for music through my education involving theatre, dance and music classes. In 2006 I had the opportunity to represent my country, Colombia, at the UNESCO World Youth Festival in Stuttgart. It was an unbelievable experience that defined my path as it brought me to realise my passion for the arts and social work.

I feel a huge responsibility and call as an artist to use my voice and speak out on issues around the world, particularly those involving diversity, women's rights, and the environment.

I think music and art help to break down the walls that separate us from those who chose to live differently. My creative inspiration often comes from traveling and connecting with people unlike myself. When we make music together, there is an intense feeling that we are linked regardless of our differences. Music is not only a connector, but it is a movement that (uniquely) does not carry violence and leads us instead to find peace and respect for life.

The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to discharge the wounds that we have been carrying as a society. I am convinced that understanding and recognizing other people in ourselves will help us to practice solidarity. When I feel another person’s situation, pain, experiences and happiness and connect their experiences to my own, I gain the empathy needed to heal and remain united. We are not so different from one another.


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