27 March 2014

Music for Peace: Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars

on 2 April 2014 the Refugee All Stars, a group formed by refugees from Sierra Leone, were at the United Nations Headquarters to take part in the United Nations Academic Impact’s conversation series, “Music for Peace”.

The event, simply titled “A Conversation with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars”, was held in Conference Room 4 from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. and focused on the role of music in promoting peace and the eight-member band will answer questions from the audience and perform songs.

Throughout the 1990s, the West African country of Sierra Leone was wracked with a horrifying war that forced millions to flee their homes. The musicians that would eventually form Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars are all originally from Freetown, and they were forced to leave the capital city at various times after violent rebel attacks. Most of those that left the country made their way into neighbouring Guinea, some ending up in refugee camps.

The event was organized by the United Nations Academic Impact in association with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict, World Music Institute, Modiba and Apollo Theater, is second in its “Music for Peace” conversation series. Earlier, on 24 March, it hosted, in conjunction with the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, a special event featuring Indian sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan. Academic Impact believes that every discipline of learning and practice can prove relevant to the ideals of the United Nations. Music is one that it’s two key principles — that of peace and that of unlearning intolerance.

You can watch the event here.