Everyday People Residency at the Southbank Centre

Together United we Stand…” – Everyday People

A group of 16 young refugees living in London brought joy and celebration to the Royal Festival Hall, London.

The Everyday People ensemble took to the stage to share the six pieces of music they had written during their week in residence at the Southbank Centre, as part of their Festival of Love.

Most of us refugees have war in our country. We love this project because it let’s people know about us and learn about us.”  – Bayan from Syria, EP member

The pieces ranged from comedy skits, to personal songs, poetry and spoken word regarding their own stories and values of unity and tolerance.

I’ve just seen the performance, which was amazing. So much energy and celebration; it really got the audience going…  I felt overwhelmed, and emotional. But not sad; happy!”   – Audience member

The rapturous response the group received was the ultimate feel-good moment for everyone involved in the project, but the creative process during the week-long residency before the performance held just as much importance. All members of the group, who had little to no musical experience, began hesitantly.

With the support and encouragement of our facilitators they all grew to  create something truly powerful and compelling. Through this process, happiness and new talents were discovered, friendships were formed where participants felt isolated before, and all achieved far beyond their own expectations.

Before I felt alone. I didn’t feel like people were helping me. I felt very sad… like I didn’t have friends. Now I feel like I have a new friend every day. After I was so happy. I feel like things are possible that were not possible before.” EP member

The week, which had begun with timid singing and conversations, ended with a powerful, revealing performance that got the public dancing around the tables of the Royal Festival Hall Bar. We all hope this is just the start of something special. View our photo gallery here.

I think it would be great if there were more projects like this around the country, to open up people’s experiences of others, and to learn about other people’s journeys. It was really brave of the young people to share their stories. I could never do something like that, and I was glad I got to watch it.” – Audience member


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