Herbie Hancock, co-president of ICAP, was one of a select group of international performers for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Concert held in Oslo on December 11, 2010.
At a press conference prior to the event, Mr. Hancock commented: “I am thrilled and honored to participate in the Nobel Peace Prize Concert. The subject of peace is very close to my heart. And I believe this century must and will be an epoch of the evolution of the human spirit.
“I have been thinking about this for some time. The International Committee of Artists for Peace, an organization of dedicated artists of which I am co-president, has been utilizing the power of the arts to initiate numerous peace projects and develop peacemakers throughout society. And my most recent album, The Imagine Project, is about peace through global collaboration. It brings together musicians from around the world and employs seven different languages.”
The concert is a celebration of the venerated Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded in 2010 to imprisoned Chinese human-rights activist Liu Xiaobo “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”
In his presentation speech, Thorbjørn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, included remarks by Mr. Liu, who said: “The greatness of nonviolent resistance is that even as man is faced with forceful tyranny and the resulting suffering, the victim responds to hate with love, to prejudice with tolerance, to arrogance with humility, to humiliation with dignity, and to violence with reason.”
Mr. Liu, of course, could not attend the award ceremony, which was held the previous evening. But renowned actor, Liv Ullman read from one of Mr. Liu’s poignant writings, titled “I Have No Enemies: My Final Statement,” which reads in part:
“I have no enemies, and no hatred. None of the police who monitored, arrested and interrogated me, the prosecutors who prosecuted me, or the judges who sentenced me, are my enemies. While I’m unable to accept your surveillance, arrest, prosecution or sentencing, I respect your professions and personalities.
“Although I continue to maintain that I am innocent and that the charges against me are unconstitutional, during the one plus year since I have lost my freedom, I have been locked up at two different locations and gone through four pretrial police interrogators, three prosecutors, and two judges, but in handling my case, they have not been disrespectful, overstepped time limitations, or tried to force a confession. Their manner has been moderate and reasonable; moreover, they have often shown goodwill.”
Mr. Hancock said, “I have a great deal of hope for China. China today is a global power, and it is important for China to be recognized and respected by the world community. I feel a sense of relief because China has been improving its perspective on human rights, as we can see in its treatment of Liu Xiaobo.”
On the evening of December 11, artists from all over the world gathered at the Oslo Spektrum to help spread the message of peace and celebrate the newest Nobel laureate, Liu Xiaobo. The peace concert has been an annual event since 1994, and audiences in more than 100 nations have enjoyed broadcasts or videos of the concert over the years.
This year’s event, which was attended by some 8,000 audience members, including the King and Queen of Norway was hosted by American actors Denzel Washington and Anne Hathaway. And the star-studded program included: Sivert Høyem, and the Young Norwegian Strings (Norway); Florence + the Machine, and Jamiroquai (U.K.); Colbie Caillat, India.Arie, Herbie Hancock, and Barry Manilow (U.S.A.); Robyn (Sweden); and A.R. Rachman (India).
In conjunction with the award and concert, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate exhibition “I Have No Enemies” was on display at the Nobel Peace Center. It was derived from Liu Xiaobo’s aforementioned remarks from his defendant’s speech, made on December 23, 2009, prior to his being sentenced to eleven years’ imprisonment. “I have no enemies” — these words have inspired the Nobel Peace Center to create a vivid portrait of the incarcerated peace activist.