40+ Dunedin musicians release album for Syrian refugee charity

by Insiders Dunedin

For Dunedin music organization, Operation Underground, this week marks the release of a mass compilation album in support of Syrian war charity. The epic 21 - track collection, titled “Sunday Porch Sessions” features over 40 musicians from around Dunedin performing their own original songs live on the back porch of a house located on Fea Street, Pine Hill.

The collaborative effort has been dedicated to Castle Art, a charitable initiative working with young Syrian war refugees who are camped in a former Saddam-era torture prison in Iraq.

Each week the children attend art workshops where they are taught to express their stories and through drawing and painting murals upon the rock walls they live within.

The Operation Underground Sunday Porch Sessions were originally released in video format each week throughout 2014 and gained a strong local following. They soon became a resource for local educational programmes, high - profile websites, within the local music community and the general public. The audio from half of the sessions has now been compiled and made available for digital download online with 100% of the proceeds being donated to Castle Art.

Stream/purchase album:
operationunderground.bandcamp.com

Artists involved in the project include: Matt Langley, Tahu & The Takahes, The Prophet Hens, Kira Hundleby, Opposite Sex, Monty Bevins, Hana Fahy, Paul Cathro, The Fu King, Lisa Tui, Jo Little & Jared Smith, Iron Mammoth, Into The East, Avec Spirale, Nannystate, Grawlixes, Ayumu Kobayashi, Abby Smith, JUST, Miri Yum and Mike Neumegen

More on the charity:
castleartproject.tumblr.com/AboutUs

Since 2012 over 2 million refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) have fled to the Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRG) seeking sanctuary from the onslaught of violence in their cities and villages. The war in Syria and the so-called Islamic State (known locally as Da’eash) has destroyed their homes and communities, indefinitely disrupting their sense of peace and security. Every Friday a group of children and teens hold paintbrushes and spray cans against this interruption to their lives, bringing colour, energy, voice and hope to the dreary walls of the refugee camp in Akré, Dohuk province, they now call home. A former Saddam-era prison and intelligence centre, its walls housed suffering and evil until its dilapidated and oppressive atmosphere was converted to house up to 270 Syrian Kurdish families fleeing violence.

For the youth, every Friday has become a day of socializing with friends, laughing, having fun and learning. And art is of course, as ever, a means by which they can express their emotions and process what they have heard, what they are feeling, or what they have seen.

Press contact: Michael Morris – 027 426 0609 – operationundergroundnz@gmail.com

Photo submitted by Michael Morris

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