Brussels’ cultural actors get together with and for refugees
On World Refugee Day, Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Ancienne Belgique, Bozar and many others join together to support Artists #withRefugees: a project involving visual art and debate that culminates in a concert in the AB.
BOZAR will launch this event on June 19 with the vernissage of ‘A Lighthouse for Lampedusa’, a project by German artist Thomas Kilpper, followed by a debate about the refugee crisis in the presence of Giusy Nicolini, Mayor of Lampedusa. This with support from Goethe Institut, European Cultural Foundation and Istituto Italiano di Cultura.
On Monday 20 June, Ancienne Belgique will open its doors for a fund-raising concert. The driving force behind this concert is the Brussels Jazz Orchestra who will share the stage with Tutu Puoane, David Linx, Brussels Vocal Project and I Solisti del Vento. They will also invite five soloists from the Syrian Big Band (an orchestra on the run) to play music with them. The programme includes the composition Two Small Bags, Ten Millions Dreams by Frank Vaganée, a work relating to refugees that incorporates text by Michael De Cock, the new artistic director of the KVS. The concert will be presented by Phara de Aguirre.
Ticket sales for this concert will go, in their entirety, to the good cause. That cause being Music Fund, an organisation that collects musical instruments and organizes training for musicians and music schools in areas of conflict, developing countries and soon also in reception centres for asylum seekers.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) – the refugee organisation of the United Nations – and their partners see this event as the key project of World Refugee Day 2016. On this day – June 20 – there are numerous events planned to heighten awareness for the situation of people of the run. The global campaign of World Refugee Day – I stand #withRefugees – seamlessly segues with the goal of this artistic project: artists with refugees, in this case Belgian artists with the musicians of the Syrian Big Band. The audience will also consist of a mix of Belgians and newcomers: 200 seats will be reserved in the hall for people staying in reception centres for asylum seekers.
With this event, the organisers want to make clear that refugees are people like you and me, with talents that can enrich our society. And that art connects people.
In anticipation of this concert the artists launched the cd Two Small Bags, Ten Millions Dreams, featuring the tragic story of a family of refugees seeking a new life in the back of a truck. The CD is for sale through the webshop of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. Proceeds will go entirely to Music Fund, an organization that provides refugees and people in conflict areas with secondhand musical instruments.