Although the games haven’t even begun, the prelude to this year's Olympics has proven to be just as exciting. London’s 2012 Festival is an extraordinary platform for creative messages of peace, unity, and pacifism. Take the recent "poetry bombing" over London or Deborah Warner and Fiona Shaw’s "Peace Camp," which consists of installation pieces along the coast of England “celebrating love, poetry, and landscape.” These are but two of the 12,000 other events across the UK in celebration of the Olympics.

The Guardian drew our attention to yet another remarkable event that happened just last night in London. The event, "With One Voice," featured 300 performers who have experienced homelessness in a showcase of their talents -- from singing, opera and theater performances to poetry and film screenings. The event is “the first time in history that homeless people have been given an official platform in celebrations of an Olympic and Paralympic Games" -- a truly groundbreaking event that was live streamed online last night.

The organization behind the event, "Streetwise Opera," runs a weekly music program in 11 homeless shelters across England as well as directs opera productions starring homeless performers. The idea came about after a former British Conservative cabinet minister was quoted saying that “the homeless were the people you step over when you come out of the opera house.” For Streetwise Opera’s executive director, Matthew Peacock, the statement sparked conversations about “what homeless people needed and wanted.”

It wasn’t blankets and housing: they wanted to show the public what homeless people can do. It was about restoring pride,” Peacock echoed.

Peacock hopes that every Olympics will give homeless people a public platform and voice. “It is a political statement... this is the place where homeless people deserve to tell their stories," Peacock said. "It’s about people having a voice.”

We couldn’t agree more with Peacock. Peep the video below for an excerpt from Streetwise Opera’s latest production, "My Secret Heart," and see the live feed from "With One Voice" here.

[via Guardian]