Over the course of 7 weeks in April and May 2018, Music In Detention delivered a community exchange project involving a series of 12 participatory music making workshops connecting detainees held at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre with young people from the NHS CNWL’s Hillingdon and Harrow Early Intervention Service (EIS) group that meets at the Pembroke Centre in Ruislip.
Workshops allowed participants to discuss their shared values and thoughts which they were then supported to translate into song lyrics. The songs created a space where the young people could collaborate with the detainees, encouraging an increased awareness of their similarities and differences. Over the course of the project, these two groups have created a medley of wonderful songs that bring together rock, rap and folk, along with a range of other influences. The resulting album is a powerful collection of original music that explores themes around mental health, including anger, drug treatments and the people who help you get through.
The project culminated in a performance at the Pembroke Centre by the young people from the EIS group, calling themselves ‘Mad Tribe’. The audience, mainly made up of staff from the centre, was visibly moved by the performance, with one audience member saying: “It was great to see and hear such talent. The rap, music and lyrics were meaningful and thought provoking.”