Words: Ellie Ward
VANT shared new track 'Peace & Love' - completed in the wake of the Paris attacks last November - a few weeks ago, and two days ago the quartet shared the powerful and affecting visuals to accompany it.
Frontman Mattie Vant says of the song: "Atrocities like these are taking place worldwide on a daily basis, but it’s only when something happens so close to home that it truly grabs the full attention of our society. We live on a planet that has forgotten what the words ‘Peace & Love’ mean and what they stood for in the 60s and 70s. The power of the peace movement changed the world forever but our unity is starting to slip. ‘Peace & Love’ have become throwaway words, fashion statements, cheap symbols that have lost their value. We need to reconnect with their true meaning because, more than ever, we are living in a time that really does need ‘Peace & Love’.”
Mattie this afternoon (October 23) added further words in a Facebook post:
You lot have watched our new video for 'PEACE & LOVE' over 10,000 times in the last 48 hours! The wonderful Full Fat Films (FFF) were behind the concept and will be following it up with a short documentary in the coming weeks but for now I'd like to give you some context.
Both the Ukraine & Jordan are both at interesting moments in their histories but are often overlooked due to the gravity of the situations occurring in the surrounding countries. Jordan has been a place of refuge for many of their neighbours and currently houses around 1.4 million Syrian refugees, which makes our acceptance of only 70 child refugees today look ever more heartbreaking. The compassion shown by the Jordanian people was evident through out FFF's time in Amman. It is relatively peaceful out there and they wanted to show how young people are making the most of their lives, which included a visit to Jordan's only skatepark!
Contrastingly the Ukraine has suffered more turbulent times in recent years. 2014 saw the Ukrainian revolution and the overturning of then president Viktor Yanukovych. 800,000 protesters fought against the corrupt government, hundreds were killed and thousands were injured. But they did not give up and reclaimed their country and their right to join the European Union, something we have so easily chosen to relinquish. All of the cast and crew in Kiev were at the forefront of the revolution and the footage used throughout the video was captured by them.
Although there is still a lot of tension in both these locations, it is incredibly inspiring to see young people fighting for what they believe in and enjoying their time on Planet Earth in the process. Their stories show there is hope and we can seek positive change but we have to do it in the real world not in our own self-absorbed, digital atmospheres. The location I was filmed in used to be a place for debate and resolving problems, now it is empty and used for wedding functions, corporate events and music videos! Just like the words 'Peace & Love' themselves it has become throwaway, money-making and ultimately meaningless. But we can change things and we can search for greater equality not only in our own lives but universally.
Wake up & speak up.
Peace & love.