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-- Four Questions About Human Rights with Bruce Cockburn --
The Winnipeg Folk Festival

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15 September 2014 - This weekend, Winnipeggers eagerly awaiting the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights will gather at The Forks for the grand opening celebrations. We were thrilled to partner with the Museum to curate three shows happening this weekend.

A Manitoban showcase featuring Del Barber, Royal Canoe, marijosťe, Sierra Noble and The Bros. Landreth will take place on Saturday, September 20 from 3:00 Ė 5:00 PM on the RightsFest Mainstage.

Find diversity on stage at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Concert on September 20 from 6:30 Ė 9:00 PM with Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bruce Cockburn, SHAD, Ashley MacIsaac, A Tribe Called Red and Marie Pierre Arthur.

On Sunday, September 21, Folk Fest alumni Delhi 2 Dublin will play the RightsFest Mainstage along with DUGAS and Oh My Darling. Click here for the full schedule of events this weekend.

In anticipation of the opening celebrations, we spoke to Bruce Cockburn about human rights and the link between issues and music.

Four Questions About Human Rights with Bruce Cockburn

What does being part of the opening celebrations of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights mean to you?

Itís a great honour to be asked to participate in this event. Many people are looking forward to it and Iím looking forward to being there.

What do you think the role of music is in human rights?

Itís an indirect connection. When I write a song, itís about a person I met, a situation I was in and how I felt about it. If there is a connection to human rights, then thatís what the song is about. I donít sit down and try to write a human rights song, but if I meet a survivor of a refugee camp, that experience inspires me to sit down and write ďIf I Had A Rocket Launcher

Music is also educational. People may not read the right blogs or papers to find out about human rights, but they can listen to a song and learn.

How has activism and the pursuit of Human Rights shaped your music?

When I was going to music school, I remember hearing Buffy Sainte-Marie at a club in Boston. The songs that she sang were meaningful and had a profound influence on me. I can say the same of the songs by Bob Dylan. Their affect is two-fold: they taught me that itís okay to write songs about human rights, not just about love, and that way of writing is powerful. I hope to make other people feel that way with my music.

Who is your inspiration?

So many artists and experiences Ė whatever or whoever makes me look around and feel.

~from Four Questions about Human Rights







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This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.