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Electric vibes!

Electric vibes!

Here is an example of a MID workshop in an IRC. In May 2010 we had a rare opportunity to have our workshops at Harmondsworth IRC documented by John Carey, a professional photographer working with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, one of our main funders.

The artists facilitating these workshops were Arjunan and Tom, working on behalf of Asian Music Circuit (AMC), who deliver monthly music workshops in Harmondsworth, not only creating powerful pieces of music, but also providing a release from the everyday uncertainty of detention, and encouraging positive interaction between detainees and IRC staff.

"Working with detainees in the IRCs across the country is some of the most challenging and rewarding work I have been a part of. To me, music should be a regular feature in a detainee's life; it is after all a language that the whole world can speak, a medium that has the power to bring all nations, colours and classes together…”

Arjunan, workshop leader for AMC

"Within our particular workshop we created two songs, bringing together an array of nationalities onto one record. The buzz was noticeable, the vibe electric and as the day went on I observed them open up. There is much sadness within these walls and I feel honoured to be a force of positivity in their lives."

Arjunan, workshop leader for AMC

Jasel Nandha, Education Officer from AMC, noted how important it was that

"the detainees through music were really able to express their feelings, communicate and build a feeling of mutual respect for each other's stories."

Examples of this expression can be found in lyrics created at the workshop:

I got a story to tell
Not in jail but I'm in a prison cell
I can't breathe, I wanna be released
I seek freedom, 'cos I wanna be free

They spoke and interacted well through conversation. One of the detainees had lunch with us and told us how special it was for us to be there. The staff member said he had never seen some of those detainees interact and speak of their own lives in such an open setting. He said it was the best workshop he had seen in a while.”

Arjunan, workshop leader for AMC

© John Carey

© John Carey

© John Carey

© John Carey

© John Carey

© John Carey

© John Carey

© John Carey

© John Carey

© John Carey

© John Carey

© John Carey