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Date: 26 Jan 17:30

Venue: Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, Islington, London, N1 2UN

Kinetika is delighted to have collaborated with the innovative and empowering Singing Our Lives project to design a unique silk backdrop for their performances.

Singing Our Lives is a ground-breaking project that celebrates diversity, solidarity and inclusion bringing together refugee, migrant and local communities to create new music and perform with professional musicians. The project, originated and developed by Together Productions, is supported by IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

Its partners include the Royal Opera House, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the International Organization for Migration and it worked with Kinetika to produce a silk backdrop for its performance in London in Jan 2020

Kinetika’s Artistic Director Ali Pretty led the design process, involving over 250 people from the different choirs, in the making of this unique piece.

Ali and Kinetika artists delivered a taster session in silk painting so the Singing Our Lives participants could learn the batik technique and understand what sort of designs would translate best to the silk. The design is a spectacular mandala pattern, with each choir member contributing their own individual design to create the whole. This was followed by further sessions to wax and paint the silk, working with members of the different choirs.

Jeremy Haneman, Musical Director of Singing Our Lives said: “In the third year of the ground breaking Singing Our Lives project we are delighted to welcome Kinetika on board. To date the project has brought together thousands of people as audience and participants to perform and create new lyrics and music and also to bring refugee and asylum seeker musicians and artists together with local residents to build social bonds through shared creative endeavour. This year, thanks to Kinetika, we are adding an exciting design element to the process which will enable us to truly create a cross-arts multi-disciplinary approach that will make the process even richer and more fulfilling. We are excited to see the results of this new musical and artistic partnership!

Ali Pretty, Artistic Director, Kinetika said: “It has been a real pleasure to visit all the choirs and hear stories of the members and what being in the choir means to them. The design process has enabled people to share these stories, bringing them closer to each other, across very different backgrounds.

To find out more about Singing Our Lives, please go to

See more photos of the workshops and new backdrop in progress here:

This project was made possible by funding from Arts Council England and National Lottery Awards for All.

Photo credits are Joe Bloom and Ali Pretty