Mette Tast

 

The Refugee Song – A reflection log from a Dane in the Netherlands by Mette age 26 
 

The Refugee Song project took place on Gran Canaria in Spain from December 3 to 10 involving young people from Gran Canaria, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, La Reunion Island (France) and the Netherlands.

During the week the different countries prepared and performed workshops, a song, hosted a cultural night and initiated more informal warm-up games for each other.

The Refugee Song. An inspiring title for a project for young people of Europe in 2017 and an inspiring and in my opinion wise method of sharing insides and communicating difficult issues: through voice and singing.
Music and singing are so connected to our emotional centre and I believe that in this way you gain access to a deeper involvement.

We did in this project sing and share a lot and gained confidence in being here but the theme of the project took a different direction. This as result of primarily difficulties in getting in touch with groups of refugees here on Gran Canaria but also because of a loose framing and facilitation in this direction. During the week i experienced more how the countries want to be seen and experienced and less what the actual situations regarding the refugee issue are or just which difficulties and problems the countries are facing. It could have been interesting to hear and ask more questions and to share more fears and hopes.

My group mates from Amsterdam and I chose to approach our responsibilities a bit differently and shared mostly personal stories of living in the Netherlands and more ‘cooling-down’ exercised instead of ‘energyzers’ to create a more focused and in depth atmosphere for dialogue and sharing bringing forward the breath as coming home. What does it even mean to be at home?

Communal singing in foreign rhythms, languages and chords, creating new music together, dancing and tasting did have its very positive effect though. It created a feeling of community and togetherness, an embodied understanding of culture in a different way than speaking does.