Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Preview: Stone Flowers @ Manchester Food & Drink Festival

As part of this year's International Peace Day on 21 September, Stone Flowers will be performing two sets at Manchester Food and Drink Festival.

Formed via working with the Musicians Without Borders and Freedom From Torture charities, the open collective of torture survivors has been raising awareness and fundraising to support other survivors, who often endure difficulties even after the experiences. Following loss of home, culture or family, they are then mistreated even in a place of refuge, such as the UK, where they can experience social isolation, threat of removal and mental health problems.

Stone Flowers raises awareness about refugees and asylum seekers and the violation of human rights," says Frank, member of the band. “It enables the world to hear us and learn about us. It’s the only way to take out the pain inside us.

For Stone Flowers music is not an exclusive club: you don’t have to be a virtuoso to join and many members never tried performing before they started. Through an organic creative process, which draws on diverse cultural influences, members are encouraged to express themselves through the languages and rhythms of their home countries, which include Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. The act of expression is cathartic, and by being empowered to voice what they have been through, Stone Flowers members are the architects of their own recovery. Members take ownership of the creative process, making positive connections with audiences, leading the way in speaking out against war and torture.

Last month, supported by Manchester charities Freedom from Torture and Musicians without Borders, Stone Flowers started a fundraising appeal, asking the public to support a professional recording and album release of their original music. They well on the way to the £7,000 needed, been featured on Radio 1’s ‘War Children’, and even received a mention from the legendary label Ninja Tune.

Words: Anastasia Connor

Their appeal runs until the end of September. Click here for information on how to donate.

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