Solidarity concerts in Grande Synthe refugee camp
Some members of WHO: Martina Mihulkova (flute), Ravi Palanisamy (keyboard), Eleanor Harrison (violin), Iris Zerdoud (clarinet) and WHO director Romain Malan spent a weekend in Grande Synthe. We were honoured to be joined by international soloist/violinist Virginie Robilliard.
Invited by the food/cooking organisation Le Recho, we went to the camp to meet refugees and share musical moments with them. We performed an eclectic programme of traditional folk Syrian and Arabic tunes, pop Arabic songs and classical pieces composed by refugees (Chopin) or inspired by refugees (Brahms Hungarian Dance). The refugees from the camp shared their favourite tunes with us, jammed and sang with us.
On Sunday, we performed at the Palais du Littoral, the main concert hall in Grande Synthe. The audience was a mix of refugees from the camp and inhabitants of Grande Synthe. The event was supported and hosted by the Mayor of Grande Synthe and Le Recho.
Since our stay, a tragic incident happened: nearly all of the camp was destroyed in a fire making the situation for the refugees living in the North of France even more critical.