We are pleased to present to you an insight of the 2 days Annie was in Edinburgh for the Festival of Politics from long time fan Craig Hogan.? All photographs and videos were taken by Craig and should not be used without permission.? Please note, all photo’s can be clicked and viewed at full size.
Festival of Politics ? Day One
What a memorable couple of days in Edinburgh. This week sees the annual Festival of Politics, held at the Scottish Parliament. On Tuesday the headlining speaker was Annie Lennox, speaking on behalf of the Sing campaign. Standing in the queue we saw a few fans in Sing T-shirts, obviously there to support Annie and the Sing Campaign.
?At 12.30 the doors were open and we entered the chamber. Each seat had a Sing flyer and a form which could be used to write any questions to Annie about the Sing campaign and these would be answered at the end of the presentation.
At 1.00 pm, Annie entered the chamber and after a short introduction began to speak about the Sing campaign. She was relaxed and obviously passionate about the cause; this was evident throughout but particularly when telling the audience about her personal experiences in South Africa. The passion and commitment with which she spoke, coupled with the short films that were shown certainly moved the audience. All too soon the hour was up and after a great round of applause Annie left the stage.
As she left the building afterwards Annie was happy to stop and chat briefly to the people who had waited to see her. She was very positive and upbeat that the message had been so well received and after having a few pictures taken made her way to her car.
Unveiling of memorial stone ? Day 2
The next day we made our way early to the City Chambers for the unveiling of the Mandela memorial. The press photographers were already there, so we mingled in and waited for the event to start.
The courtyard was soon full of photographers, journalists, fans and dignitaries. At 10.15, Annie walked into the courtyard and took to the podium.
She spoke for about 5 minutes before walking over to the corner of the courtyard and unveiling the stone, which contains Nelson Mandela?s prison number as well as 2 sets of handprints, one set belonging to a boy of 14 called Steven who is living with HIV and the other set belonging to Annie.
The African Children?s Choir, then performed a song and dance, which everybody thoroughly enjoyed, not least Annie who was dancing along.
It was then time for photographs and Annie sat on the ground, surrounded by the children, explaining to them how she had previously put her hands into the concrete and expressing concern that the children may be getting cold as they were barefoot. After a few minutes Annie was escorted back into the Council Chambers.
Not only have the last two days been a great opportunity for highlighting Annies Sing campaign but also to bring awareness of the stigma and ignorance which still surround HIV and Aids both in the Uk and globally.