Celebrating Sanctuary: Building bridges with detainees
In June 2011 Music In Detention ran a Community Exchange project linking detainees from Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre to students from Harlington Community School in Hayes. Two artists from Asian Music Circuit worked with participants in the two settings over a period of 6 days and compiled pieces of music as part of National Refugee week.
The pupils were given an opportunity to learn about Immigration Removal Centres and about the detainees within them. Many students were not aware of IRCs before the project but by the end of the project they were informed with regards to the system and got to directly communicate with detainees on an emotional and musical level.
Music and words were created at both the school and the IRC and this material was then shared between both groups. The musical ideas were then developed and used to create this CD and a performance. The work produced reflects the development in learning for both groups and shares the feelings each group experienced both at the start and end of the project. The piece was performed at the Celebrating Sanctuary Festival on London's Southbank where students acted to the voices of detainees and also played and sang their own compositions.
This project was delivered by Asian Music Circuit, facilitated by Shammi Pithia and Arjunan Manuelpillai on behalf of Music In Detention.
Special thanks go to all the students and detainees that participated in this project, especially the facilitators Shammi and arjunan and Kathryn Stephens at Harlington Community School for making this project possible!
Music In Detention works with immigration detainees, bringing them together with professional musicians and local communities to share, create and enjoy music, enabling often-ignored voices to be heard in new ways.
The Asian Music Circuit is the leading promoter of Asian music in the UK. It has successfully established a reputation of producing innovative tours, concerts and educational projects of the highest standard.
"A big thank you to all involved with this valuable project which offered all parties an opportunity to express themselves through music."
Harmondsworth IRC, Sven Napper
"Our students really enjoyed the experience, and learned so much about how music could illustrate emotions and highlight the personal experiences of the detainees."
Harlington Community School, Kathryn Stephens
All tracks mixed, arranged and produced by Shammi Pithia and Arjunan Manuelpillai. Mixed by Shammi Pithia. Artwork provided by Class 8.7, Harlington Community School.