🗓️Tuesday 26th March 2024 📍 LSO St Luke’s, London 🕒 6.30 – 9pm

 🗓️ Thursday 28th March 2024 📍 Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester 🕒 6 – 8.30pm

Music Action International and Stone Flowers present a special screening of the award-winning film Stone Flowers – songs of hope and defiance

The documentary by James Sandy follows Stone Flowers – a collective of refugee torture survivors based in North West England – on their journey from starting a new life in the UK to becoming recording artists. Join us to celebrate Stone Flowers and explore how the collective creates powerful music to overcome trauma, bring communities together and speak out about human rights abuses.

The film will be followed by a stimulating discussion with members of Stone Flowers, filmmaker James Sandy and special guest hosts Ali Ghaderi (London) and Aref Ghorbani (Manchester) plus the opportunity to chat afterwards, with delicious refreshments.

Stone Flowers are a music collective who have survived war, torture and persecution around the world. The programme is facilitated by Music Action International – a multi-award-winning charity creating life-changing music programmes with survivors. Find out more about Stone Flowers.

Stone Flowers – songs of hope and defiance is Directed by James Sandy and Co-produced by James Sandy and Lis Murphy.

It has been nominated for multiple awards – winning ‘Best National Documentary Film on a Social Issue’ at the Filmmakers United International Film Festival 2023 and ‘Best Director of a Short Documentary’ at London Film Fest International Awards 2023 and officially selected for the International World Film Awards 2023.

Standard tickets are £5, or you can choose the Solidarity ticket option which is £10. If you cannot afford a ticket or are currently navigating the asylum system, please get in touch with hello@musicaction.org for a free ticket.

Our amazing panel

James Sandy – James is a video journalist at the Financial Times. He was previously a documentary producer and director at the BBC, the Economist and elsewhere. Over a 15-year career, he has covered topics from quantum mechanics and weather forecasting to climate change and corruption in sport. He has always been motivated by stories with people at their heart, particularly when those stories can help to humanise human rights issues.

Sepideh Amiri – Sepideh is a Human Rights activist, advocate and campaigner working at Freedom from Torture advocating to improve policies in the UK that affect the lives of survivors of torture, refugees and asylum seekers. She is a member of Stone Flowers and has been making music with us since 2011, also delivering creative sessions for kids in our Harmonise programme. Sepideh is a qualified accountant and a member of our Board of Trustees as treasurer with valuable experience and insights into our board and programmes.

Jeremie Diatapakola – Jeremie is a member of Stone Flowers who has been living in the UK for 14 years. Jeremie holds a Master of Science degree in Applied Quantitative Methods (MMU) and a Bachelor’s degree in Science with Honors in Criminology and Sociology with Quantitative Methods. He is the singer and author of the Stone Flowers song ‘Ngunda Azali Mutu’. Jeremie works at Freedom From Torture as Senior Service User Engagement Coordinator and Pastor of the House of Prayers in Manchester.

Ali Ghaderi – Ali is an actor, advocate and activist working for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, inspired by his own experiences. As an actor, he performed at the Globe and National Theatre. He is the funder and director of the Babylon Migrants Project and is involved with other organisations such as Our Second Home, Counterpoints Arts and the British Red Cross.

Aref Ghorbani – Aref is an Iranian trained classical musician who came to Scotland as a refugee in 2018. He has an MSc. in Global Migrations and Social Justice from Glasgow University and has been working within the refugee sector since 2016, including as an advisor for the Scottish Refugee Council. Aref is a facilitator of Musicians in Exile, and a member of Edinburgh-based band The Other. You may have spotted Aref performing in numerous festivals, including COP26, Edinburgh Fringe, MELA Festival and Edinburgh International Festival!

“When you work together with love
you can achieve anything.”

Amir, Survivor

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