Ipswich Launch of "Malka" supports Suffolk Refugees, Fri 28 April

March 22, 2017  •  1 Comment

*** Book now: 01473 603388 or redrosechain.com/tickets ***

Save the date! Friday 28th April 2017, 19:00 - 22:00, at Red Rose Chain, Gippeswyk Hall, Ipswich. Tickets are now on sale for the official Ipswich launch event of a unique collaboration between local creatives Stefan Freedman and Lois Cordelia.

"Malka" is a short film (4 m 52 s) dedicated to refugee children everywhere,
evoking the journey of a young girl refugee, Malka, and her mother across wilderness and hardship in search of safety. The film features haunting acoustic music and lyrics by Stefan Freedman, accompanied by atmospheric mixed media illustrations by Lois Cordelia. The film in its entirety can be viewed here. Public sharing of the film is encouraged.

The official launch event on Friday 28th April will reveal many of the inspiring stories behind this collaboration as well as raising vital funds for Suffolk Refugee Support. The evening will feature a rich and varied programme, including an introductory talk by Suffolk Refugee Support, two screenings of Malka with and without subtitles, an exhibition and live speed-painting by artist Lois Cordelia, and live traditional Eastern European music and dance.

The event is being generously co-hosted by the award-winning Ipswich theatre group Red Rose Chain, whose ethos closely matches that of the Malka project: "Many of our practitioners and volunteers are those whose lives have been turned around by Red Rose Chain. We believe in change and have created a finely balanced, welcoming and creative environment which nurtures our participants, builds their self-esteem and radically improves their life."

Malka is a non-profit film that aims to reach out to the public and promote empathy and understanding of refugees, seen through the eyes of a child.

Stefan Freedman was travelling on a train a few years ago when the idea for Malka first came to him. The music that began to flow together in his mind was originally inspired by a traditional Bulgarian folk tune. Stefan shaped his own lyrics to fit the music, evoking the words of a refugee mother to her young daughter, Malka, seeking to reassure her in the midst of unfamiliarity and confusion.

Stefan is a teacher of traditional, sacred and circle dance, travelling worldwide to lead workshops and other events incorporating live music and displays. His dances use evocative music from all continents.


Ipswich-based artist Lois Cordelia began creating the artwork for Malka in May 2016. Over the following 6 months, she assembled a series of more than 60 visuals, inspired by Stefan's lyrics. Lois's mixed media illustrations combine painting, drawing, paper-cutting, brushpen, photography and digital effects, layered together to heighten the emotional intensity of each image.

One of the challenges that Lois faced was how to convey both the traumas and the aspirations of the young girl, Malka, in ways that touched people's emotions without being unbearably painful to watch. The film hints at the trials and hardships that Malka and her mother endure, but also plants seeds of hope for a brighter future.

Lois wanted her pictures to have a universal appeal, hence her depictions of Malka embrace various ages and different nationalities. She also emphasises the value of using creative activities as therapy for refugee children, suggesting how the young girl could express her memories of trauma through her own paintings. Remembering how to paint as a child was an important part of Lois's journey following in the footsteps of Malka.

The music for Malka features the distinctive voice of Czech singer Sebastiana Black (based in Norwich), accompanied by a haunting mix of sounds created by various ancient musical instruments including the sackbut, shawm, bass viol and bowed psaltery. Musicians Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush and Andy Mapplebeck are all Ipswich-based.

Below: Czech singer Sebastiana Black (lead vocals)

Below: Left to right: Andy Mapplebeck, Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush, Lois Cordelia, January 2017. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Above: Left to right: Andy Mapplebeck, Stefan Freedman. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Above: Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Above: Stefan Freedman. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Above:  Left to right: Andy Mapplebeck, Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush, Lois Cordelia, January 2017. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.



(dedicated to refugee children)

Storm winds whistle in the sky
Birds cry, flying helter-skelter
Malka, walk a little more
Though your feet are sore
While there is still some light to guide us
Sorrel soothes our tired feet
Lovage we can eat
Look out for somewhere they won't find us

"When will we be going home?"
Malka, our future is unknown
Each day we'll be moving on
Till the danger's gone
We're following a road to freedom
Sing once more your favourite song
Keep your spirit strong
Hold all your dreams until you need them

"When can I play with my friends?"
Malka, so many paths were taken
Strangers, unfamiliar words
Like migrating birds
That vanish over moonlit mountains
Some day in another land
We'll dance hand in hand
We'll wash our feet in sparkling fountains

Storm winds whistle in the sky
Birds cry, flying helter-skelter
Malka, walk a little more
Though your feet are sore
Tomorrow we'll have better weather
Soon we'll stop and build a fire
Burning with desire
That one day there'll be peace forever

© Stefan Freedman


This is quite amazing, in every way. I am forwarding it to Allison Aldrich (Animaterra) who may wish to contact you.
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