We return to Dover
July 14, 2015
In the first two weeks of June 2015 we delivered our latest Community Exchange project through a series of eight participatory music making workshops for detainees at Dover IRC and participants from Porchlight, a local charity providing services for homeless and vulnerable people.
Artists Lucky Moyo and Oliver Seager of Music for Change facilitated the workshops, bringing their respective expertise in African singing and drumming; hip-hop and production, to the project. On each day, Lucky and Oliver would spend the afternoon at the IRC before going on to Porchlight in the evening, to work with service users there. Musical material produced at each location was taken between the two groups by the artists, allowing participants to share messages, lyrics and beats, without ever meeting face to face.
The project brought together musical traditions from all over the world, creating fusion tracks sung in several different languages featuring a variety of musical genres:
“My style of music is reggae and his style of music is hip hop and his music is Indian…that’s what music is, music is international and the more different people, we all have different minds and different beliefs and if we all come together and gather our minds in one track, utilise our experience and that, obviously it works, that’s what music is about” – detainee at Dover IRC
Detainees enjoyed working with Oliver and Lucky and appreciated the empathy shown to them:
“It’s fantastic, it’s like working with somebody who knows how you feel, so there is nothing equivalent to that. Those people (the MID artists) knows how we feel and they work with us on tempo, you understand, it’s appreciated, definitely.” – detainee at Dover IRC
For one participant from Porchlight, making music was something completely new for her, but with the artist’s encouragement she relaxed into the session and enjoyed taking part:
“I enjoyed attending the music session. It was something different that I have not done before. I was made to feel relaxed and comfortable and found it very lively and uplifting” –Porchlight participant, Dover
The project created 11 original tracks of music which can be listened to on our website, and will soon be issued on a CD.
Selected tracks were also performed in Dover Market Square on Saturday 13th June at the launch of the Refugee Tales walk, organised by Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group. A crowd of 50 or so watched Lucky and Oliver perform the tracks live, supported by the recorded voices of detainees and Porchlight participants.
For more information about the Refugee Tales project, visit their website:
This was the first time we have delivered workshops at Dover IRC since 2012, we were pleased to be working there again and hope to restart more regular work at the centre in the coming months.