Kommetjie-based musician Jack Mantis is making his stand, in support of Standing Rock.
The artist has – with the band the Sailing Conductors – spent three years shooting a music video, in seven different countries.
The music video, which was filmed for the song Radiate, will have its global launch on Monday February 20.
Jack and the two members of the Sailing Conductors, Ben Bart and Hannes Hafenklang, are ecstatic to present their work in a meaningful way.
“This song will be a gift to the Sioux nation,” Jack says. “It is our way of showing support for indigenous people, who only want to protect their land and water, and who are being subjected to unbelievably inhumane treatment,” he said.
It stings, he says, because it’s not new. Because he has seen this in the country of his birth, and, disappointingly, across the many continents he has visited. And here in Kommetjie, Jack is holding his head in his hands and asking why we as the human race have not learned from the atrocities committed, time and again, before.
“Some have asked me why I am bothering to speak out about something that’s happening so far away.
“They tell me we have troubles and issues here. But this is the thing: I consider myself a part of the world’s people. I am part of the human race.
“Borders and flags don’t separate us. Injustice is injustice and we should speak out against it wherever it happens. Here, and there. When I make a stand for Standing Rock, I am making a stand for indigenous people – the world over.”
It is a universal call for the brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind, for a gentler way, a kinder way towards one another and the earth which sustains us.
Jack is aggrieved by the actions taken by the Dakota Pipeline project and its plans to run an oil pipeline through the sacred lands of the indigenous people of America.
“The need to protect nature in peaceful unity has been met with guns and ammunition and it simply isn’t enough to remain seated. We hope that reflecting the emotions of others will make a difference – to show that in the current light of oppression, hatred and racism – we will not tolerate the actions of barely lit, dimly glowing bullies.”
On his travels through the years, Jack spent a considerable amount of time looking for an authentic voice, to validate the essence of the song and speak about the importance of attaining, and then maintaining, balance – and respect for Mother Earth.
He found that in Tiokasin Ghosthorse, an elder of the Lakota people, who offered his own words to bring the long awaited music video to a close.
Jack gave the False Bay Echo a sneak peek of the nearly finished product and it shows the various band members playing and singing across seven different countries. Its scope extends from musical and geographical to poetic and philosophical – and typical of Jack’s touch – rather than focusing on the learned helplessness or negative – the video leaves one restored; and inspired to create and live a good life.
The song Radiate holds a special place to Jack because it came to him in the middle of the Atlantic while he was on a yacht, and he says it pretty much wrote itself. It was the first time, he said, that he felt he was not treading on anything or anyone in the course of his life and while he wrote it, he felt the sense of being as close to balance as humanly possible, with nature.
The message in the song is a reflection of this, making it wholly appropriate as a gift to a nation of people who revere the inter-connectedness of the natural world.
Jack is not new to encouraging thought about the quality of our interactions with each other and the world we depend on. Just last week he produced and released a short music video called Immersion which focused on the life-giving power of water.
“The greatest blessing I have had in life is to see so much of this beauty-filled planet. It’s given me a powerful awareness of the fragility of the balance we live in, and how as custodians of the planet, it is our absolute duty to protect all our natural resources – even if it means sacrificing our personal needs,” he says.
To view the music video on its global release date on Monday February 20, visit: www.jackmantisband.com, www.sailingconductors.com or www.standingrock.org