Humanity…connection…love. On Saturday, March 5th 2016 founder Jamal Rashann Callender took part in facilitating and curating a dance workshop for refugees in Mannheim, Germany. The participants of the workshop traveled far to seek hope from a home that is dangerous and unstable by war and genocide. These men traveled from Afghanistan, Iran, Kurdistan, Somalia, Gambia, and Nigeria. This wasn’t a normal dance workshop. Of course, many of these men never had formal dance training, however, dance was at their core. What I noticed was a sign of relief. A moment where they didn’t think about their past leading to the space and they weren't thinking about what is next, but instead they lived in the moment. A moment where it was okay to laugh, a moment where they learned dance steps from different cultures and created small phrases. A moment were each person took accountability and made a team effort. We all lived in the moment together and shared a special bond that will never happen for us again. Germany is one of the countries that open it’s doors for refugees. However the refugees are always relocated from city to city. Many of these amazing men I will never see again. But it was a moment, a small moment that I know we will all cherish for the rest of our lives.
Thank you to Nils Cooper for introducing the idea and for all of his hard work. Thank you to my friends and fellow co-workers Julia Headley and Brian McNeal, here is to many more!
photos by GERHARD HECKMANN.