Stone Flowers supports refugee/asylum seeker torture survivors living in the UK. It was created in partnership with Freedom from Torture North-West as a positive response to the shocking use of music as a tool of torture in Guantanamo Bay and other military internment camps. The psychological impact of torture is long-lasting with multiple mental health implications. Through therapeutic music sessions, we reduce the effects of trauma and other psychological after-effects of torture. Since 2011, we have supported around 80 survivors of torture with their rehabilitation.
One of the big messages that the group offers is that music is for everyone; you don’t have to be a music virtuoso to join and many members haven’t sung or played an instrument before they start. Through an organic creation process, which draws on members’ cultural influences, they are encouraged to express themselves through the languages and rhythms of their home countries, which include Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, Kurdistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. By being empowered to voice what they have been through and take ownership of the creative process, Stone Flowers members become the architects of their own recovery.
In 2015, Stone Flowers supported Paloma Faith, Peace and Kate Tempest at the 02 Forum in Kentish Town, London to raise money for refugees living in camps across Europe.
In 2016 Stone Flowers collaborated with award winning theatre company Box Tale Soup to create a new piece of theatre. Gone premiered at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester to an audience of 130 on Friday 24 June 2016 in celebration of celebrate Refugee Week.
Following excellent audience feedback, the show is now preparing for a UK tour to enable the story to reach a wider audience.
Take a look at photo’s from the event here.