It is June 20th and World Refugee Day. ICORN joins the UNHCR and the world to commemorate the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of families forced to flee their homes. On this day, we promote tolerance and respect for people forced to flee, and uphold everyone’s rights to not only a safe place to live, but also to education and the opportunity to work and learn new skills.
By the end of 2017, 68.5 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, or generalized violence. Not surprisingly, the world’s forcibly displaced population is at record high. The growing number of writers and artists reaching out to ICORN for protection the past few years have increased drastically. The applications come from all continents—from countries as far ranging as Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia, Mexico, Honduras, Russia, Bangladesh and Vietnam. They seek new opportunities to live in safety to continue their work for human rights and the right to freedom of expression.
Breaking down barriers with music
Musicians Hamid Sakhizada and Abazar Hamid in ICORN residency in Harstad, will lead an ensemble of musicians and youth who will perform the Orpheus XXI repertoire at the Harstad City Library, on the occasion of the World Refugee Day 2018.
The concert is a part of a project where ICORN is partner, namely the ORPHEUS XXI – Music for life and dignity. Under the artistic management of composer and musician Jordi Savall, also EU ambassador for inter-cultural dialogue, the ORPHEUS XXI was launched in 2017 as an artistic and educational action plan aiming at the integration of refugees professional musicians and the transmission of their culture to uprooted children and teenagers. Saline Royal of Arc-et-Senans and the association Coop’ Agir in France, the International Center of Ancient Music in Spain and the International Cities of Refuge Network in Norway collaborate in this EU funded Creative Europe project.
As part of this plan, 20 instrumentalists and singers were trained during workshops in Saline Royale during the past year. In turn, they intervene with children of all nationalities through workshops locally where they live, sharing and transmitting traditional music of their own countries. Some children are selected to form musical ensembles in view of a series of concerts to be held in schools, refugee communities and musical institutions in Europe.
The idea is to provide for the professionals in the ensemble to help train young musicians – Europeans and migrants. The project thus gives the trained professionals work as music teachers and performers, as part of the attempt to promote their integration and to make Europeans aware of the cultural riches the refugees bring with them.
So far, two musicians from the ICORN network has participated in the ORPHEUS XXI project, Abazar Hamid and Hamid Sakhizada, both came to the City of Harstad as musicians through the ICORN programme. They are now conducting workshops and concert programme locally for the project.
This intercultural project is financed within the framework of the Creative Europe program by the European Commission, the Orange Foundation, the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, and the Caisse des dépôts.
The concert takes place in Harstad City Library June 20th at 12 am.
Stand #WithRefugees on World Refugee Day!
Statement by UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi on World Refugee Day 2018