Guitars for refugee projects

In the context of my Marie Skłodowska Curie Individual Fellowship (acronym MUSDEWAR), 24 guitars were donated by the Belgian humanitarian organization “Music Fund” for music projects with refugees in camps, shelters and self-managed spaces in Greece. Two years ago I asked Lukas Pairon, founder and managing director of “Music Fund”, to donate music instruments for refugee projects in Greece. Even though Greece is not at war, the effects of conflict are experienced by the thousands of refugees currently stranded here, some of them in situations of detention or semi detention. He most generously offered to send guitars as long as I could secure transport but also music projects in which they could be used. After two years of looking for a way to get the guitars here for free, the solution was given by the Belgian dance company “Rosas” which performs at the Athens Festival this evening. They loaded the guitars on their truck transporting their production’s sets. Eighteen guitars will be used by the Athens-based group “Musikarama” (Karama, dignity in Arabic), run by volunteers teaching music at refugee camps and their own space; they will also be used in collaboration with the Syrian Greek Youth Forum. Six guitars will be used by the group SAM SAM: Socio-Emotional Awareness Management – Sharing Arts & Music with refugee children. Based at the island of Chios, SAM SAM will work with unaccompanied minor refugees currently staying in a shelter. Many thanks go to the wonderful Lukas Pairon and MUSIC FUND; the dance company “Rosas”; Nicole Mouzaki, Head of Production of the Athens Festival; Kareem Kabbani, Wael Habbal and their friends from the The Syrian & Greek Youth Forum / SGYF; “Musikarama“; ethnomusicologist Tom Western; music therapist Mitsi Akoyunoglou; and composer Alexis Porfiriadis for helping me get the guitars to their new homes.

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