Stone Flowers is a unique music collective of refugee torture survivors from across the world. Members have fled war, conflict and violence from countries including Iran, Sri Lanka, Syria, Afghanistan, Cameroon and the DRC.
Here we chat to Anahita (not actual name), a refugee torture survivor from Iran who sought safety in the UK and joined Stone Flowers in 2013.
I’ve always been fascinated by music but when I first arrived in the UK, I did not think about music at all. I felt like I was drowning and struggling with the difficulties of my life. I was introduced to Stone Flowers in March 2013 and after couple of sessions a miracle happened; Stone Flowers was pulling me out from the dark world that was surrounding me and, session by session, my world was getting brighter.
Our new show GONE started with talking about the true story of Stone Flowers members’ journeys from the beginning (fleeing their home country) to the end (arriving in the UK), and what they have gone through during this journey. Every one of us has a story that sounds hard to believe when it is told and you think it is a tale, but it’s not!
We shared and wrote our story and Box Tale Soup developed it into a play with their handmade puppets. Stone Flowers wrote their songs, poems and music with Music Action International. Then we all put everything together and the result was fantastic! When we practised the whole show for the first time, I couldn’t stop crying because the show was alive: it has our souls.
Gone gives the audience a clearer idea about refugees and helps them to understand the true story of a refugee’s life and why they come to the UK. We come here to seek peace, which is one of the first requirements of humanity, and which has been taken from us in so many different ways.
Stone Flowers has been a big support for all of us, helping us to cope with the difficult times we’ve had. We all hope that we can develop our shows and activities with Stone Flowers to continue to raise awareness about refugees. By supporting organisations that work with refugees and help them in different ways, like Music Action International, people can show their support for refugees across the world. Trying to understand the truth about their life rather than judging them without enough knowledge is also very important. GONE gives you really important knowledge about that truth.