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Arts for Social Inclusion 2022: Artist Profiles

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In 2022, we launched the first art27 open call Commissions of Collaborative Artworks. The Arts for Social Inclusion project awarded successful applicants funding for the creation of new collaborative artworks. The initiative supports the creation of new collaborative artworks by artists with lived experiences of migration, aiming to foreground new narratives on migration and forced displacement.
We are proud to feature these conversations with the successful artists. In these special episodes of ReSounding, we spoke to the artists about the formulation of their collaboration, the narrative and impetus behind their works, and the wider political impact that they perceive in their practice.

Letters to Ukrainians by Yoanna Ayers and Mariam Shurghaia

In this episode, art27 Coordinator Sofia Vieira speaks to Yoanna Ayers (Poland) and Mariam Shurghaia (Georgia/Ukraine). The artistic duo received funding for their latest project Letters to Ukrainians.

Following a fortuitously encounter at a protest against the war in Ukraine in Battonya, Hungary, the two artists started working together on a song to express their solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Their project, Letters to Ukrainians, was thus born. Letters to Ukrainians is an anthem, a message of hope expressing solidarity with all those suffering from the violent conflict enfolding in Ukraine.

Charkh Bezan Ba Eftekhar by Elena Yaqubee and Fabio Joel Tunno

In this episode, art27 Coordinator Sofia Vieira speaks to Elena Yaqubee (Afghanistan) and Fabio Joel Tunno (Italy) about their latest project Charkh Bezan Ba Eftekhar (Whirling Pridefully).

Resorting to music, poetry and theatre, Charkh Bezan Ba Eftekhar carries a message of strength and resistance against injustice and violence in the world. It aims to overcome indifference and bring awareness, amplifying the voices of those being forgotten by a society that has become too complacent. The project blossomed after Elena Yaqubee and Fabio Joel Tunno met in a refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, in 2021.

Adam’s Book by Abubacar Adam Togo, Ana Guerrero, and Liliya Golovanova

In this episode, art27 Coordinator Sofia Vieira speaks to Abubacar Adam Togo (Sudan), Ana Guerrero (Colombia) and Liliya Golovanova (Russia), three artists based in Paris, France. 

Adam’s Book is an intimate artistic project that delves into the life and art of Abubacar Adam Togo. It explores not only Adam’s refugee story and the violence in his home country but also experiences and memories from everyday and mundane life – typically not attributed to the collective imagination of people experiencing forced displacement. In the making for the last 3 years, Adam’s Book is a collection of all the mediums Adam works in, featuring poetry, paintings, sketches, and photography. It opposes the common narrative around refugees and migrants, offering a singular and intimate image into Adam’s way of looking at the world.

Delirium by Anas Qadamani and Anan Alkadamani

In this episode, art27 Coordinator Sofia Vieira speaks to Anas Qadamani and Anan Alkadamani, two Syrian artists based in the Netherlands who received funding as part of the initiative art27 Commissions of Collaborative Artworks. 

Anas Qadamani is an audiovisual design artist, currently studying at Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam; Anan Alkadamani is a composer and musician, who recently graduated from Codarts, Rotterdam. The two Syrian artists met in the Netherlands, after escaping war in their home country. Delirium, the three-minute-long audiovisual artwork created by the artistic duo, explores and expresses the unprocessed thoughts, experiences and feelings that took place during the journey from Syria to the Netherlands. The duo describes the artwork as an experimental process between music and visuals, with one reacting to the other.

ReSounding Ep.18 – Putting Down Roots with Bemeriki Bisimwa Dusabe and Jennie Spears

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This month art27 member Darren Abrahams takes the reigns hosting and speaks to two organizations that use gardening, plants, food, and permaculture to create sustainability and resilience for refugees living in camps in East Africa and Northern Iraq/Kurdistan.

Bemeriki Bisimwa Dusabe is the founder of the Rwamwanja Rural Foundation, working in Uganda to create farming and sustainable food solutions within refugee camps. He is an educator in the field, leading training for young refugees to develop permaculture gardens.

Jennie Spears represents The Lemon Tree Trust, an organization transforming refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan by focussing on garden making, cooking, and working with the lands as a practice of security, culture, and community.

Lemon Tree Trust: lemontreetrust.org/

Rwamwanja Rural Foundation: rwamwanjaruralfoundation.org/

This episode features an excerpt of ‘Permaculture Song’ by the Rwamwanja Rural Foundation: https://youtu.be/hLhP2TEFiZI

ReSounding was produced and edited by Ed Holland.

The art27 theme music ‘Come Together’ was written and performed by Matteo Galesi and was produced for art27 in collaboration with SYNCR.

You can find Matteo at:
www.facebook.com/matteo.galesi
www.instagram.com/teogalesi/
twitter.com/TEOgalesi

ReSounding Ep.17 – Striving for Regeneration with Darren Abrahams

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The Human Hive is an international organisation shifting the paradigm of development work. The Human Hive are in the process of training a mass collective of educators, facilitators, front-line workers, and students who are equipped with a better way of working. A way of working with the environment, rather than through it.

In this episode co-founder Darren Abrahams draws on his expertise as a musician and a body trauma therapist to discuss how practitioners can create safe spaces, and work “with” and not “for” participants. Whilst the Human Hive is built on a foundation of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, Darren argues that these worthwhile standards do not go far enough, and instead organisations need to aim for “regeneration” rather than settling for “sustainability”.

Find the Human Hive:
thehumanhive.org/
the-human-hive.mn.co/

Listen to the Human Hive:
Spotify

ReSounding was produced and edited by Ed Holland.

The art27 theme music ‘Come Together’ was written and performed by Matteo Galesi and was produced for art27 in collaboration with SYNCR.

You can find Matteo at:
www.facebook.com/matteo.galesi
www.instagram.com/teogalesi/
twitter.com/TEOgalesi

ReSounding Ep.16 – Painting Home with Jason and Salam Noah

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In 2014, when ISIS began their attack on the minority Yazidi population of Northern Iraq/Kurdistan, the Noah brothers Jason, Salam, and Ismail, together with the rest of their family were forced to flee their homes and search for safety across the border.

After many deadly attempts to cross into Europe, the Noah family found themselves as Yazidi refugees in Greece, facing dual persecution due to their asylum seeker status and their religious identity.

Now, 8 years the later, the Noah family live in France, where the three brothers paint, create music, and write poetry. Together they founded Brotherly Art, a website where they sell their artworks and use the profits to buy essential survival items for refugees in camps.

ReSounding was produced and edited by Ed Holland.

The art27 theme music ‘Come Together’ was written and performed by Matteo Galesi and was produced for art27 in collaboration with SYNCR.

You can find Matteo at:
www.facebook.com/matteo.galesi
www.instagram.com/teogalesi/
twitter.com/TEOgalesi

ReSounding Ep.15 – Protecting Artistic Freedom with Julie Trebault

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The crucial freedoms that artists need to carry out their work – freedom to express, to tell the truth, to reach any audience – are not upheld equally around the world. In some situations artists face considerable risk or danger because of the work they do. In such situations, initiatives like Artists at Risk Connection step in, in order to help those individuals and uphold our universal freedoms and human rights of expression.

This month, Laura Hassler spoke to Julie Trebault, the director of Artists at Risk Connection, a program of PEN America dedicated to defending artistic freedom around the world, fighting the effects of censorship, and the persecution and silencing of artists.

ReSounding was produced and edited by Ed Holland.

The art27 theme music ‘Come Together’ was written and performed by Matteo Galesi and was produced for art27 in collaboration with SYNCR.

You can find Matteo at:
www.facebook.com/matteo.galesi
www.instagram.com/teogalesi/
twitter.com/TEOgalesi

ReSounding Ep.14 – Laughing at our Mistakes with Natalie Porias

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We are all funny and we all make mistakes. Sometimes we like to forget these aspects of human nature in favor of the serious side of life. But, the ability to embrace our humor and our flaws and laugh at ourselves can be incredibly powerful.

So says Natalie Porias, director of Red Noses International, an international organisation of clowns who have been bringing laughter, joy, and silliness to vulnerable people around the world for almost 20 years. In this episode, Natalie spoke with Laura Hassler about the surprisingly zen beauty of the art of clowning, and how she and her organization have learned to fully embody their politics in everything they do.

Find out more about Red Noses at rednoses.eu/ and donate what you can to the Emergency Smile campaign: emergencysmile.rednoses.eu/donation-now/

ReSounding was produced and edited by Ed Holland.

The art27 theme music ‘Come Together’ was written and performed by Matteo Galesi and was produced for art27 in collaboration with SYNCR.

You can find Matteo at:
www.facebook.com/matteo.galesi
www.instagram.com/teogalesi/
twitter.com/TEOgalesi

ReSounding Ep.13 – Building Community with Godfrey Lado

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This month art27 Co-Founder Laura Hassler takes up hosting duty and speaks to Godfrey Lado, a musician and poet living in Amsterdam.

Born in South Sudan, Godfrey fled the country as a refugee when he faced the prospect of mandatory military service. Since arriving in the Netherlands he has negotiated a long and difficult journey to become a fully documented citizen. Now, through storytelling, music, and community building, Godfrey works with other undocumented migrants in Amsterdam to create a better standard of life.

Godfrey works with the organization ASKV Steunpunt Vluchtelingen, find out more about their work on their website.

This podcast features an excerpt of ‘Kabara Ta Intikhabat‘ by Godfrey Lado

ReSounding was produced and edited by Ed Holland.

The art27 theme music ‘Come Together’ was written and performed by Matteo Galesi and was produced for art27 in collaboration with SYNCR.

You can find Matteo at:
www.facebook.com/matteo.galesi
www.instagram.com/teogalesi/
twitter.com/TEOgalesi

ReSounding Ep.12 – Storytelling Migration with Laura Nyahuye

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Laura Nyahuye is a Zimbabwean born artist, storyteller, a curator, writer, performer, and the founder of Maokwo a social enterprise exploring ways in which creativity can bring communities together.

She joined us to talk about how we can tell stories of migration through art, and how this process can help minoritized people form an understanding of their experiences. She also told us how she explores her own story through her stunning body adornment artwork.

Find out more at maokwo.com/

ReSounding is hosted by Dr Chris Nicholson, Program Development Manager with Musicians Without Borders.

The art27 theme music ‘Come Together’ was written and performed by Matteo Galesi and was produced for art27 in collaboration with SYNCR.

You can find Matteo at:
www.facebook.com/matteo.galesi
www.instagram.com/teogalesi/
twitter.com/TEOgalesi

ReSounding Ep.11 – Reclaiming Creativity with Alaa Abdulfatah

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In the 1960’s the town of Amude on the Northern border of Syria was a haven of creativity and expression. However a tragic fire in one of the town’s cinemas left a deep scar within the community that has not been healed for over 60 years.

That is until 2021, when Alaa Abdulfatah and her husband Gernas Haj Shekhmous decided to return to their hometown after years of living in Europe, to build the first new cinema in the town since the 60’s, and bring creativity back to Amude. Now they are creating a safe and creative space to start washing away the dust of decades of conflict.

This episode includes clips of Gernas Haj Shekhmous playing the daf in the town of Amude, and a performance by the Kulturvan Band.

You can find out more about Alaa’s amazing intiative at kulturvan.org and if you want to make a contribution to the intiative or donate instruments to their music drive, get in touch with Kulturvan, art27, or Musicians Without Borders

 

ReSounding is hosted by Dr Chris Nicholson, Program Development Manager with Musicians Without Borders.

The art27 theme music ‘Come Together’ was written and performed by Matteo Galesi and was produced for art27 in collaboration with SYNCR.

You can find Matteo at:
www.facebook.com/matteo.galesi
www.instagram.com/teogalesi/
twitter.com/TEOgalesi

ReSounding Ep.10 – Finding Hope with Laura Hassler

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Our first episode of a new season of the ReSounding Podcast, and we kick 2022 off with a moving interview with Laura Hassler, the founder and director of Musicians Without Borders, and one of the co-founders of art27.

Laura is an award-winning peace activist who has worked with Musicians Without Borders for over 20 years to help heal the wounds of war through music education, sustainable school programs, and an approach informed by the power of art on the body. In this episode she tells about how she “accidentally” founded the charity, how she finds her hope, and a fascinating story involving the US President Eisenhower and bags of grain.

ReSounding is hosted by Dr Chris Nicholson, Program Development Manager with Musicians Without Borders.

ReSounding was produced by Ed Holland and Maryana Golovchenko, and edited by Ed Holland

The art27 theme music ‘Come Together’ was written and performed by Matteo Galesi and was produced for art27 in collaboration with SYNCR.

You can find Matteo at:
www.facebook.com/matteo.galesi
www.instagram.com/teogalesi/
twitter.com/TEOgalesi