Amnesty International, Electric Burma Concert

Apogee joins Amnesty in celebrating Aung San Suru Kyi in Dublin, Ireland

Aung San Suu Kyi was greeted by heartfelt cheering, and applauding from an admiring crowd the moment she entered the Borg Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin, Ireland on June 18th, 2012.  A few of Apogee’s staff members felt extremely lucky to witness the radiant, and elegant Burmese pro-democracy leader celebrated by over 2,000 people at Amnesty’s ‘Electric Burma’ concert in her honor.

Aung San Suu Kyi is a Burmese opposition politician and General Secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD). She was detained under house arrest for almost 15 of the 21 years from 20 July 1989 until her most recent release on 13 November 2010, becoming one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, and was recently granted a passport to allow her travel abroad for the first time in 24 years.  Aung San Suu Kyi travelled to Ireland and attended the ‘Electric Burma’ concert directly from Oslo where she was finally able to deliver her acceptance speech for her Nobel Peace Prize.  This was her first trip to Europe since 1988.

Apogee, a proud supporter of Amnesty International for many years, has donated it’s studio, Berkeley Street, and many employee’s talents in filming and recording Amnesty’s song, “Toast to Freedom,” ( the past two years.  The song was performed at the concert and embodied the spirit of the tribute where U2’s Bono also presented Suu Kyi with Amnesty International’s prestigious Ambassador of Conscience Award. Apogee flew board member Bob Clearmountain and his assistant, Brandon Duncan, who both donated their time, to Dublin, to record the show for Amnesty.  After having recorded and mixed various artists for “Toast to Freedom,“ as well as much of Amnesty’s Bob Dylan tribute album it made sense that Bob and Brandon would be a part of celebrating such an incredible woman who has personally sacrificed so much, so successfully, for the freedom and human rights of her people.

“It’s so rare to see grace trump military might and when it happens we should make the most joyful noise we can.” 
– Bono

Damien Rice, Angelique Kidjo, Vanessa Redgrave, Bob Geldof, Riverdance, and Jack Gleeson were just some of the talented individuals who came together to celebrate Aung San Suu Kyi in the celebration of music, dance and spoken word.  Bono commented before the concert, “It’s so rare to see grace trump military might and when it happens we should make the most joyful noise we can.  Aung San Suu Kyi’s grace and courage has tilted a wobbly world further in the direction of democracy. We all feel we know her, but it will be such a thrill to meet her in person. How honored we are that she should consider Ireland for her first real trip from home.”  Bob Geldof said, “To be allowed to honor this woman is an honor in itself. The heroine of dignity, integrity, courage and steely moral vigor lost her freedom and her family in order to gain a nation.  Ireland is ennobled by her visit.”

Audience members were reminded in a moving speech by Wu’er Kaixi, the exiled leader of the Tiananmen Square protest, of the many political prisoners still behind bars across the world and how much work Amnesty has yet to do.  As a company, Apogee feels privileged to have played a small role in honoring such a great woman and will continue to support Amnesty International’s continued efforts in preventing and ending grave abuses of human rights, and demanding justice for those whose rights have been violated.

The inspiring night ended powerfully with the whole cast on stage singing one of Suu Kyi’s favorite songs, Bob Marley’s Get Up Stand Up, which brought many audience members to tears and put a brilliant smile on Aung San Suu Kyi’s face.

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