As part of The Pixel Project’s 30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” project in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, we talk to the artistes who have participated in the project about why they are using their music to speak out and to say NO to violence against women.
Our eleventh featured artiste is Ellen Bukstel. Hailed by Pop Star and Social Activist Michael Bolton as “An Amazing Artist And Spirit,” Ellen Bukstel challenges her listeners to laugh, dig deep and embrace the wild emotional rollercoaster we call life with every daring turn of phrase…a rare, bold, real deal maverick, a multi-faceted break the mold original who lays her emotions bare, puts her passions on the line and, without fear, makes the world perk up and pay attention with straight talking, heart on her sleeve, from her soul to yours lyrics.. From hilariously funny to moving compositions of love, remembrance, and social awareness, her songs always hit home. She has been recognised with 14 international fundraising awards for her music videos with songs that have collectively have helped to raise close to a hundred million dollars for community causes such as Housing the Homeless, Human Rights, Helping people with Alzheimers and Children with Wide Spectrum Autism and Raising Awareness about Domestic Violence.
Ellen contributed her song, “You’re Not Better Than Me” to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate here.
Back in 2005, there was no other issue captured my attention more, at that time, than the tragedy and proliferation of domestic violence (DV) in my community and the country and world. I was fired up and raring to take on the world and so, to arrest and calm my frustration, I wrote my song – an anti-domestic violence called “You’re Not Better Than Me,” and through several DV organisations it has helped to raise hundred of thousands of dollars for DV outreach and education.
I have been speaking and singing AGAINST domestic violence and FOR empowerment of women for many years and I was delighted, through 30/30/30 , to have the opportunity to share my song with women who might be comforted or empowered by the music and lyrics and the intention of my song.
All of the artistes in 30/30/30 have made a commitment to speaking out and that is what music does. It crosses all boundries of race, skin color, religious and spiritual beliefs and socio-economics. We are all PEOPLE who deserve respect and to be safe in the world.
Why is ending violence against women important to you?
Knowing that violent acts and injustices happen to women all around the world makes it everyone’s responsibility to speak out. By being silent we give our consent! Speaking out, or in my case “singing out” is my personal way of helping to educate and to change laws that will make perpetrators accountable and demand protection of women’s rights by enforcing those laws.
In your opinion how does music help in efforts to end violence against women?
Music and songs have historically been a unifying force amidst the sometimes turbulent movements of social change. They have had a universal way of bringing awareness about many things. They have shaped our world. The Pixel Project’s 30/30/30 project recognises the commitment of singer-songwriters who are trying to positively influence our culture with their fearless social activism and unwavering commitment to peace and positive change
Music is my way of speaking out against the oppression and injustice. We live in a male dominated world with cultures that, for generations, have perpetuated violent customs and crimes against women. Education and protective laws are important to foster changing attitudes towards women. The more we teach our children at a young age to respect life and family and one another, the more we foster independence and positive self esteem as they grow into adults.
What actions can music artists take to help end violence against women?
If I could do ONE thing through my song to help, I would say to every women that they are “beautiful” and “vital” and “intelligent” and to say to anyone and everyone who tries to minimise their worth: ”You’re Not Better Than Me!”
The “Music For Pixels 2014″ charity digital album is available from 1 April 2014 – 1 April 2015 as a companion to the “30 Artistes, 30 Songs, 30 Days” campaign. The album features a selection of 12 positive and empowering songs from the campaign by artistes including Adam Web, AHMIR, AJ Rafael, Bob Sima, Courtney Jenae, Debbie Reifer, Delaney Gibson, Ellis, Macy Kate, Mary Sholz, Pete Ahonen, and Troy Horne.
The album is the perfect and affordable gift for music lovers and for celebrating special occasions such as birthdays and Mother’s Day. It is available for download worldwide via major online music retailers including iTunes and Amazon.com. 100% of the album proceeds will benefit The Pixel Project to help keep their anti-Violence Against Women campaigns, projects, and programmes running.