The Melissa Network of Migrant Women Athens 2018
“It takes you inside... gives you direction but at the same time you don’t know where you are going... and it’s calming because you don’t need to worry about where it’s going...” Maria
The Melissa Network of Migrant Women in Athens is an immensely powerful place. Open since the summer of 2015, the centre is a sanctuary for migrant and refugee women, and provides support through language classes, workshops and childcare.
In partnership with the Greek National Opera, Breakfast Club spent five days in this incredibly special place. We were excited to continue to deepen our exploration of Maya Angelou’s poem, Phenomenal Woman, and conversations about womanhood, motherhood, love and loss then flowed between Greek, Farsi, Arabic and English. We shared songs and danced together as we discovered all of the things that connect and bind us regardless of our cultural backgrounds.
In conjunction with the work with the women, we also worked with young musicians from the Greek National Opera Youth program. It felt so exciting to bring these two groups together for our final performance - to push the limits of 'opera' and redefine the lines between professional and non-professional musicians.
Throughout the week we explored open scores by Pauline Oliveros, Meredith Monk and took inspiration from operatic arias and female characters. Alongside this we investigated personal stories, sharing our music with each other and finding meeting points between folk and traditional music and more experimental music making. The final performance was a reflection of the diversity of our experiences, and was pure joy as we performed as a collective and as a quartet.