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I'm not sad

I'm not sad

In November 2010 Music In Detention arranged a community exchange between detainees from Dover Immigration Removal Centre and Year 6 pupils from Priory Fields Primary School in Dover. Two artists from Music for Change worked with participants over a period of six days during which they shared experiences and reflections, generating an exchange of ideas and dialogue, all of which led to creative expression through music and poetry.

At the beginning of the project we asked all of the participants to share the origin and meaning of their own name. This gave all of them a positive starting point from which to engage with aspects of each other’s character and cultural heritage.

As ever, there was a wealth of musical talent in the IRC, with excellent support from the team in the education department, so the writing and recording sessions were very fruitful.

Detainees were keen to offer their words and music to the children, who listened in stunned silence to the words of the songs and poems, working out the ideas being communicated or the story being told. Upon hearing these tracks, one by one, the children started forming positive identities of the individual detainees and writing down questions that they would like to ask them.

This exchange of ideas was elevated as the pupils realised that their new friends in the IRC would be separated from their families over the upcoming festive period. The pupils expressed their empathy for this situation through an idea to send Christmas gifts: drawings, songs, messages and poems. These gifts were gratefully received by detainees, who collectively decided to write and record a version of 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas' in response. By the end of the project the two groups had built up a level of understanding and respect through the process of developing shared ideas.

I'm not sad CD sleeve

I'm not sad CD sleeve

We wish you a Merry Christmas