Cancer, art and culture: Kool Savas performs at the 2021 International Charité Mayo Conference

German rap legend Kool Savas and singer Alies performed the track "AMG" at the 11th ICMC. The message: Believe in yourself.

Illness in the family is the reason for the performance at the cancer conference

German rap legend Kool Savas performed the track "AMG", which was released last year, together with singer Alies at this year's Charité Mayo Conference in Berlin. The song’s message: Believe in myself.

For 25 years, the Charité Mayo Conference has been committed to fighting cancer in women. The progress made in research and practice since then is remarkable. It is also remarkable that high-ranking medical personalities rely not only on the "hard facts" of science, but also on art. Prof. Dr. Sahid Jehouli, who is also a board member of the European Artist Guild for Medicine and Culture, has long been convinced that art and medicine enrich each other. He was also the one who convinced Kool Savas of the matter.

The message of "AMG" - "believe in myself" - also applies to the battle against cancer.

Kool Savas speaks of "a fateful coincidence", as he himself came into contact and exchange with Sehouli through a case of illness in the family: "For me it was quite clear - this is only something very small that I can do here and what I can contribute, but of course it is an honour for me to be able to support this in any way," says the rapper in the esanum interview.

With Alies, Kool Savas has a singer by his side who adds incredible vocal power to the message of the track "AMG means believe in me" (in German: An mich glauben - AMG). Although it is actually about Savas' own story, which is characterised by having to assert oneself and stand one's ground, he could not have provided a more fitting soundtrack for the conference. Believing in yourself, not giving up - nothing better describes the battle against cancer.

Art and culture in alliance with medicine and science

But the conference, which this year takes place under the motto "Global Perspectives and Future Directions in Women's Cancer" from 5 to 8 May, also sends a clear signal to the cultural industry, which is particularly suffering under the Corona measures, and thus to mutual support. The hashtag #BerlinAllianceforArtsandMedicine is a campaign of the Charité Mayo Conference and the German Ovarian Cancer Foundation (Deutsche Stiftung Eierstockkrebs) and comes up with an impressive cultural programme for the conference. In addition to Kool Savas, the opera band Velvet Rocks, the Siciliano Contemporary Ballet and the Berlin DJ and actor Senay Gueler will be among the performers. "In a currently difficult and highly sensitive time, where various social as well as personal areas have to be mastered with special medical as well as scientific challenges, it must be possible to show solidarity, to motivate and support each other," says Sehouli in the statement "The Alliance: Culture and Arts for Medicine and Science".

Art can help to cope with difficult situations and illnesses

Asked about the effects of the corona measures on the development of his own career, Kool Savas also confirms: "So of course I have to accept these infection control measures. For me personally and for my career, it's not exactly beneficial." Nevertheless, he thinks the protective measures are necessary. He finds it understandable that there is always talk of COVID-19-associated compulsions: "Of course I understand that the fear of getting this disease might often have done even more damage than the disease itself." He himself tries to protect himself as best he can and has not been infected so far. In terms of productivity and creativity, he has even been able to make good use of the crisis to develop other working practices.

However, many other artists suffer from the fact that the cultural sector is particularly shut down in times of the corona crisis. It is therefore all the more important that the importance of art, especially for mental well-being and coping with serious illness, is highlighted by such a renowned event as the Charité Mayo Conference.