“Unity”, a musical spark of solidarity born from the ashes of the Moria camp
- In October 2020, 160 Greek musicians and groups joined forces to produce Unity Vol. 1, a unique album to demonstrate their solidarity and support for the refugees displaced by the fire in the Moria camp on Lesbos. The totality of the funds were donated to the NGO Attika Human Support. Joan Bienaimé writes about this touching artistic initiative.
On September 9, the camp of Moria was ravaged by fire on the island of Lesbos. Faced with the emergency, an artistic movement was formed around a mission: to propose the sale of a unique music album to raise funds. This is the “Unity” initiative.
Unity Vol. 1, an album with 160 voices
Unity Vol 1. is described by the movement as “a unique compilation that transcends genres”. It brings together 160 pieces by the same number of Greek artists. If the album contains mostly rock songs from alternative bands, it also includes some rap and experimental music. The online initiative took place on the Bandcamp platform, which offers independent artists the opportunity to sell their productions without taking a commission.
“Bandcamp recognized the purpose of our compilation to collect goods for the immigrants in Lesbos camp!” -Melentini
It is with these words that the artist Melentini, part of the compilation, expressed herself on her official Facebook page. The album was therefore offered at the price of 5 euros, even including a free price option. The sale stopped during the night of October 2 to 3, at midnight. But even now, towards the end of November, the team still continues to publish news on the Facebook page.
Some musicians have also expressed their commitment. This is the case of the group Mother of Millions which chose to give up its symbolic song “Cinder”. According to the guitarist Costas Konstantinidis, it is a song evoking a burning exile forced by bombings. Others, such as Vodka Juniors, went further. Promoting the Unity initiative, this punk band published a poem on the plight of migrants that describes the extreme precariousness of asylum seekers. The artistic bubbling that brought together the 160 committed musicians was as much in their speeches as in their choice of songs. The group Villagers of Ioannina City, for its part, gave a song whose title “For the innocents” pays tribute to the lives of immigrants.
It is also thanks to the commitment of a lot of illustrators and designers that the Unity movement was able to acquire other accessories to accompany the sale of the album: t-shirts, pins, stickers of works by certain artists could be marketed without copyright. The solidarity of these Greek artists will be used to buy basic necessities for the asylum seekers and victims of the fires in Moria.