Post-Conflict Migration and Musical Integration

When conflict starts nothing and no one
is excluded even if you leave everything behind and run away the marks of
conflict are with you to stay ask me for I’ve lived in conflict most of my life.
It is estimated that sixty eight point five million people are either displaced
refugees or seeking asylum across the world currently Syria is the highest
country from which people are refugees, refugees have no control over where they
are resettled or when. Several refugee families have been resettled here in
Limerick and some are finding it pretty challenging to integrate into the
society, my research examines how music-making can facilitate integration,
why because integration can have an immensely positive impact on both the
Irish and the migrant communities. In my PhD I investigate the positive and the
negative experiences that could emerge during a musical workshop. Music, it’s
accessible to all it’s a self-expression tool that overcomes the barriers of
language and highlight shared values between communities however music can
stir emotions it can bring out past memories that may overwhelm the
individual I want to find out what the best approaches are when working with
refugees what are the refugees needs how can I create a culturally sensitive
approach that’s accepting and welcoming to all do we use a formal musical
setting or an informal musical setting and how does a community musician adapt
their facilitation style when working with refugees. To address those questions
I use an arts practice approach, I conducted a series of workshops that
created a performance called the journey from within presenting life experiences
and stories from a conflict ridden life. Looking at the feedback from this
performance I found out that women needed a designated social space to feel
comfortable interacting with music as a result I created a second performance in
the form of a social musical event called from within a woman’s heart the
invited women came from different cultural and religious backgrounds
myself and Irish born woman and migrant women worked together to create a new
sense of community using music. My research can inform future Irish
integration policies and can contribute our understanding of how music can
promote integration to achieve a more socially cohesive society. Thank you

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