We're really lucky to be welcoming the MAMA choir to perform at the International Slavery Museum on 10 May. Here are a few words from the group to explain what they stand for; "We are MAMA, migrant artists mutual aid, an organization that brings together migrants in crisis.We come together in a group of mainly women asylum seekers who feel themselves under threat of removal from the UK. Together we try to explore options of campaigning, i.e. highlighting some of the injustices of the UK asylum system, and we give each other support and solidarity. We will be coming to the International Slavery Museum on Saturday 10 May at 2pm for a performance of poetry and song. The idea is to explore the link between the colonial practices as highlighted in the museum, and especially the new exhibition Brutal Exposure: the Congo, and modern day treatment of people in the asylum system. Some of our group's members are Congolese and we are preparing for anti-deportation campaigns in light of increased pressure on people from the Democratic Republic of Congo by the Home Office at the moment. We have been getting ready for our performance by trying to learn some new songs. In our research we came across amazing personalities such as Miriam Makeba, who was born in South Africa but exiled for more than 30 years because of the attention she brought to the Apartheid regime on a world stage. We will be singing her famous song 'Malaika'. Here is what she told the British Times in an interview:
We are also singing 'Dominique', a very popular French song which everyone in the group remembered from their childhood. And then there is 'Mbele mama', a song which is a pure worship of the mother, and 'Shalom Chaverim', peace be with you. We were singing these songs during our performance of the Vagina Monologues two months ago."
"I'm not a political singer… I don't know what the word means. People think I consciously decided to tell the world what was happening in South Africa. No! I was singing about my life, and in South Africa we always sang about what was happening to us - especially the things that hurt us."