Why detainees and music?
28,000 people are detained every year while they wait to find out if they will be deported from the UK. Held in a prison-like place, music has the power to free their minds and make their voices heard.
The trauma of immigration detention
I was one of hundreds of people in the detention centre. Many had fled torture, war and poverty. Others had been trafficked. Some had lived in the UK since they were kids – even babies. We were never called by our names, just our room numbers. We were trapped in this place and in our heads – for how long, we never knew. It was mental torture. Being in there, you lose the feeling of being human.
Music was my refuge and release
Music is part of being human. It unites us all, across every culture. It’s proven to be really important for mental health. When your body is trapped, music can set the mind free. It’s like the music plays and those walls come down. You feel free, even if only for a while. It gives you a voice, a way to express who you really are.
Play the music
This is Hear Me Out
|Think BIG (Colnbrook - MC Snoop)|
|Put me Back Together Again|
|Don't Throw My Love Away|
|When I Get Out|
|See Me Smiling (Never Keep Me Down)|
Lead artists like me take our instruments and recording equipment into immigration detention centres. And together with the people detained there, we make music. Every session is different. People bring their life and musical experiences to the room, coming up with tunes and lyrics. So far, we’ve worked with 23,513 people, producing 1794 tracks across 27 locations.
How we do it
Join a chorus of music-lovers bringing refuge and release to immigration detainees
If you love music, you know the power it has. When you’re held in UK immigration detention with no end in sight, music can be the difference between keeping or losing your sanity. By giving the joy of playing and writing music, you help those taken away find refuge, strength and release. An escape from the daily mental torture of being locked up inside. That’s the power of music.