Four Against War

Four Against War is a collaborative music project. They kindly gave a live performance at Maté Café on March 7th 2020. It was a lovely, well attended occasion, which created a sense of warmth and unity. Melina, who established the project, explains below the context and history of the project and song. Thanks to Melina and all involved.


Collaborative music project: Four Against War

Concept and research: Melina

Music arrangement: Tim; Assistants: Ferda, Melina, Xelis

Voices: Ferda, Melina, Tim and Xelis

Our Muse: Zoe


The collaborative project Four Against War brought together four Brighton based musicians, artists and activists. Together, by performing a song Ay Carmela, they constructed a new multilingual story of hope and solidarity that spans time and space.


During the Spanish Civil War, this song inspired the international political struggle of a generation of Spanish and international artists, writers, painters and poets and other international fighters who joined Spaniards in the war. They all stood united in the defence of the highest values and achievements of humanity. The song ‘Ay Carmela’ powerfully conveys messages of hope for a better world merged with stories of collective resistance to Fascism and all forms of oppression.


The song Ay Carmela still echoes across the world as a powerful anti-war song thanks to Jose Sanchis Sinisterra’s theatre play ‘Ay Carmela’ from 1987, which also inspired Carlos Saura’s film of the same name (1990). Named after the famous songs, Sinisterra’s widely popular theatre play, which continues to be performed all over the world,  symbolically translates poignant war stories as well as the stories about the crucial struggle between life and dead…and between creation and destruction.


Today, the song is still performed in many different languages


It is in these shared stories, places and dreams of many about a world without war and discrimination that Four Against War found inspiration to produce a unique vocal quartet- each signer bringing their own (hi)stories and hopes to the piece, Xelis sings verses of Ay Carmela song in Spanish, Ferda in Turkish, Melina in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, and Tim in English.


Their first performance, which took place during the Maté Café event organised on March 7, 2020 in the Cowley Club in Brighton, created one of the most magical interpretations of the Ay Carmela song. Particularly powerful was the moment when the four voices were joined by the voices of over 30 audience members in singing this song of freedom and resistance.


We are proud that our Four Against War collaborative project is completely voluntary, collective endeavour which is fuelled with hope, friendship and love and the kind support of our families and friends.