When I Get Out :: Building bridges with detainees
In February 2010 Music In Detention ran a Community Exchange project linking detainees from Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre to students from Brunel University. Two artists from Music for Change worked with participants in the two settings over a period of six days during which they shared stories, thoughts and feelings which generated an exchange of ideas, leading to creative expression through music and poetry.
Through this exchange a universal feeling emerged - that life is really hard when you are separated from those who you love. This overarching theme came to light in different ways from each of the workshop participants. The students asked the detainees about their hopes for when they get out. This became one of the main themes of our discussions and led to the title track of this album.
The collection of songs and poems on this album explore a number of situations, from the pain of being separated from a partner (Without your love), to the sustaining power of faith in God during difficult times (Honour You, Jvh). Some songs celebrate the joy of being in love (African Queen, Aiesha, Carolina) whilst others paint a picture of detention life (Keys to the Cage, Think BIG). Contributions from international students at Brunel University, separated from loved ones for different reasons, echoed the sentiments of loneliness experienced by detainees (SWOT).
In our final session at Colnbrook we learned to sing an original composition by Walumba Lumba which gives a united message of hope for the future (Peace and Love).
This project was delivered by Music for Change, facilitated by Daniel James and Kevin Davidson on behalf of Music In Detention.
Music for Change is a leading arts and educational organisation committed to promoting awareness, understanding and respect for cultural diversity.
Music In Detention (MID) works through music to give voice to immigration detainees and create channels of communication between them, immigration and detention staff, local communities and the wider public.