Sim Simmer, singer song writer with SP23 and The Bad Girlz writes about how she and DJ Jeff 23 were inspired to organise the huge Paris benefit Gig and compilation album to raise funds to help refugees.
Artists in Action came together after Jeff 23 and myself got back from doing a gig down in Salento, the heel of Italy. The organiser of the event they were playing at, Frank Sabado, also happens to work for a charity called SPRAR – who work specifically with refugees arriving on Italys’ shores. Literally millions of people are currently being displaced through war, dictatorships and climate change and the amount of people arriving around Italy has been steadily growing over the last year or so. Mostly people arriving by boat from Libya, that have come from Sudan, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and more and more now from Syria.
Frank gave us the lowdown on the situation and the realities of day to day survival that these people face – only a small percentage get taken in by SPRAR, who house them in small groups in local apartments and give language lessons, integrate them as best they can into the local area, plus aid with general day to day necessities and paperwork. The rest, if they don’t get away and manage to reach destinations further afield are taken to holding centres,that are more like third world prisons – where they become just a number waiting for a decision – most decisions for them to stay are refused and they are forced back to the very countries and circumstances they have risked everything to escape from. suicide rates at this point are high.
When we got back we had the idea to try and somehow raise awareness and funds – at the same time as the thousands of others who had been subjected to the harrowing images of the young boy washed up on a Turkish beach. A facebook page was set up and ideas started to flow. Jeff23 came up with the idea of a digital compilation album and I started collecting clothes and necessary items for refugees and migrants stuck at the French Italian border unable to move.
So in a very short space of time we have set up an association ‘Artists in Action’ and we are currently working with artists and event organisers to put on a series of fundraising concerts as well as get the digital compilation album out – so far there is an event planned for Sunday 1st November in Marseille, another in Paris the 14th November which will also be the same day the album is released.
All funds raised will go towards getting a convoy out to southern Europe with the aim of providing warm clothes, tents and sleeping bags plus a hot meal to people arriving across the Mediterranean sea.
There are more and more event s unfolding and projects being discussed daily – you can check out everything on our website.
Sim Simmer (SP23 and Bad Girlz)
Album out now! https://artistsinaction.bandcamp.com/
or on our facebook page
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