Art and music are important avenues through which the questions of identity, social cohesion and integration can be explored and stereotypes can be countered.
Supporting and documenting music projects made by people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Working collaboratively with musicians with diverse heritages from around the World.
Established in 2009, Best Foot Music is an intercultural music and art organisation.
We aim to encourage social inclusion and cultural diversity by supporting, promoting and documenting the music and arts of communities and individuals who have moved to the UK from around the World.
Music recordings and documentation (See music page)
Supporting artists in developing their own projects.
Booking artists for events held by other organisations.
Community and artist support work and fundraising.
When we can we also document events held by similar organisations, and can work in an advisory role for those wanting to organise their own events.
Giles Duley’s ‘Legacy OF War'
The Aga Khan Development Network
Glyndebourne Opera House
The Southbank Centre
Sussex Syrian Community Group
Sussex Kurdish Community Group
The British Library
Same Sky Brighton
Sanctuary on Sea
The Hummingbird Project
Thousand for Thousand
Brighton And Hove City Council
Sussex University (School of Global Studies)
Lloyds Bank Foundation/Unbound Philanthropy
Whilst we are a volunteer organisation and all committee members work on a 'Not for Profit' basis, we strongly believe musicians should be paid a professional wage for the work they do.
Music on the website is organised chronologically. We do not categorise by genre, ethnicity or geographic location. We believe identity is fluid and not essentialised, it is the right of the individual to identify how they feel fit.
When location is listed, this is in reference to where the recording was made or by specific choice of artist concerned.
Who we are:
Dr Laila Kadiwal
Dr Laila Kadiwal is Teaching Fellow at the Institute of Education, University College London. Laila has specialist interests in the role of education, youth and teachers in conflict and peace building. Her interest lies in thinking through how an ‘identity as freedom’ approach can help in addressing some of the questions of social divisions to facilitate the building of equitable and inclusive interrelationships. Laila has founded Education for Peace project and co-runs Best Foot Music
Phillip Minns established Best Foot Music in 2009. His main responsibilities include music recording, artist and community liaison, event and project management. He runs community workshops and presentations, and is responsible for much of the day to day running of Best Foot Music.
What we do:
Until March 2018 we did not use the words 'refugee' or 'migrant' anywhere on the Best Foot Music website. Both words can be dehumanising, and we wanted to focus on the musicians being just that: talented musicians, without labels. Some of the musicians have also expressed discomfort with such terms. However in March 2018, after seeking advice on optimising our search engine visibility both words where included, and sure enough bookings and website traffic increased dramatically. I want people to see what we do, and obviously get paid bookings for the musicians, but am not comfortable with reducing people's identities. I believe there is something to be addressed with the broader conversation in relation to reductive, simplified identities, who gets to use the terminologies, and who has a voice in how they are discussed and represented.
Discussion points around the word 'refugee': ongoing challenges and dilemmas
The word ‘refugee’ can be a form of ‘othering’.
It can be enabling as a way to raise awareness, but also marginalising.
When do people start being recognised as part of the history, geography and culture of the country they have moved into? At what point do they stop being labelled as migrants or refugees. The UK has a long history of diverse communities, but is often imagined with a simplified dominant identity.
A recognition of peoples situation is important, but it ought not to be fossilised as ‘identities’
Some people themselves do not want to be casted into a specific mould.
When would be that time when we do not have to engage in this situation?
Our solution: keep raising these questions, while we use this word as strategic tool, we also generate a discussion around it.
If you have an opinion or something to add, feel free to contact us.
Phill Minns (Chair)