When Afghanistan fell to the Taliban regime 15th August 2021 many people from around the world who had connections and/or worked in Afghanistan with Music desperately tried to help in anyway they could.
Beyond Skin had a connection with Afghanistan through a shared music project with Afghan Women's Orchestra and young musicians in Northern Ireland.
Through chance, networks and signposting a collective came together online with a focus to protect Afghan musicians who where are still are at great risk due to Taliban ideology.
A Campaign To Protect Afghan Musicians was launched in September 2021
ICFAM collective (International Campaign For Afghan Musicians) was formed shortly after.
In Northern Ireland Beyond Skin team played to their strengths (music, arts and networks) to give an extra layer of support to musicians coming to Northern Ireland to seek sanctuary. Beyond Skin with support from ICFAM members set up the Musicians Artists at Risk Resettlement Scheme (aka MARRS).
Within a short time news of MARRS moved through the asylum seeker and refugee community with people from other countries reaching out to us. So MARRS expanded to support people from any country of origin wishing to avail of support through music & arts. In addition adults and children wishing to engage in creative activities for mental health, learning English and opportunities to meet other communities.
MARRS has to date helped over 200 people with the help of donors, funding agencies, community / business partners and the good will of the public.
The Guitar Clubs have grown from the MARRS activities. Their has been countless good news and success stories.
INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR AFGHAN MUSICIANS
An international effort to protect all of Afghanistan's musicians in a time of crisis, along with their extraordinarily rich musical traditions, from the traditional rabab to the latest pop music.