Requiem for Aleppo – a roaring success

Picture credit: @mikebutcher

Sunday evening, saw the world premiere of David Cazalet’s composition Requiem for Aleppo, at Sadler’s Wells in central London. The contemporary dance work brought together twelve dancers from around the world, to express their solidarity with the people of Aleppo and Syria through the medium of dance.

The Techfugees team were in attendance, along with the other charity partner, Syria Relief, packed into Sadler’s Wells in central London with 1,500 attendees. The event was being streamed live through Techfugees Youtube Channel and around the globe via fourteen of our local Techfugees chapters.

If you missed the event, you can watch a replay on our YouTube channel: 


’Perhaps simple technological tweaks can dissolve this distance and give new meaning to the well-intentioned phrase ‘expression of solidarity’? Techfugees, a volunteer charity of technology experts, punctured the proscenium arch through a live-stream broadcast of Requiem for Aleppo.’’ – The Independent

It was a humbling to have displaced Syrians help us organise the screenings across the world and share accounts with us. I was also moved by the number of citizens from Aleppo who attended the event, and speaking to them afterwards reinforced the amount of work that is left to do. The evening ended on a happy note, with a touching speech from our friend, Ahmad Al-Rashid, who spoke of rebuilding Aleppo as a place of love, history and coexistence.” – Josephine Goube, CEO, Techfugees

Techfugees was proud to partner with Syria Relief and Requiem for Aleppo to help deliver the premiere at Sadler’s Wells. It is always very satisfying to see the arts- in this case, dance and music- bridging political divides to unite us under a common purpose. The performance itself was breathtaking, with David Cazalet’s rousing score, beautiful set design, and, of course, powerful choreography from Jason Mabana. This is just the first step: we hope that Requiem for Aleppo will be able to tour, and continue to raise money to support educational projects in Syria.” – Tom Hayton, Creative Director & EdTech Project Manager, Techfugees

Migration Hub Network was proud to partner with Techfugees to host a screening in Berlin. The event brought together around 40 members of our community and public, including locals, internationals and Syrians living in Berlin, to watch the performance and gather together to express solidarity for the people of Syria. The audience was visibly moved from the performance and our discussions touched on how powerful, beautiful but also hopeful the performance was. Instead of stigmatising Aleppo merely as a conflict zone, it has to be appreciated for its cultural wealth and beauty. Before the screening, we connected via an audio-immersive Shared Studios Portal to a refugee camp in Erbil, Iraq with the purpose to enable personal encounters and highlight the human faces of conflicts. We interacted and discussed with the residents about Requiem for Aleppo and the importance to build connections and stand together in solidarity for the victims of conflict. We also used the occasion to support the work of REFUEAT, a food bike working with refugees, giving the participants the opportunity to also enjoy delicious Arabic street food.” – Laura Kangas, who organised the Berlin screening from Migration Hub

I am so humbled to be part of the community screening the Requiem from Aleppo this week. Creating a common ground around art send such a strong message. The 12 dancers were sad, powerful and beautiful, it woke feelings of compassion amongst the audience Oslo. It is initiatives like this that truly will drive us toward more peace and justice in this world“. – Ida Faldbakken, who organised Oslo screening.

Screenings were also shown across 14 Techfugees chapters:

  • Beirut
  • Bonn
  • Berlin (2)
  • Budapest
  • Dublin
  • Frameries
  • Istanbul
  • London (2)
  • New York City
  • Paris
  • Oslo
  • Stockholm

The local live screening events were organized by Techfugees’ local Ambassadors, the Syrian Diaspora and refugees from Aleppo themselves.