About the project
No Borders Band’s mission is a cross-cultural and cross-religious cooperation and friendship. The band was created in May 2018 as an initiative of Andrzej Janczewski and Dominika Szyszko. The initiative was supported by 2 LO, a high school in Gorzów Wielkopolski. The school acts as one of the project’s managers, together with Bernhardinium School from Fürstenwalde and Bednarska Szkoła Realna from Warsaw. The members of No Borders Band are musical enthusiasts and social activists from Gorzów Wielkopolski, Berlin, Warsaw and Fürstenwalde. Most of them are high school students and activists of different ages. Among them you’ll find musicians from Syria and Afghanistan.
The roots of the project reach the year 2015, when 2LO high school from Gorzów invited six Syrian musicians for the first time. Within only 24 hours, the guests and the students were able to get to know and like each other, prepare a Syrian dinner, talk about superstitions they had concerning each others’ cultures, talk about history, culture, religion and… prepare a short concert for the school! Soon it became clear that it is possible to laugh, have fun, discuss and make music together, despite some big cultural differences. This first meeting was supported by Marina Hulia, an activist and advisor in the Polish Ministry of Education, and Milo Kanefaty was among the invited Syrians. He is now the main pillar of No Borders Bands’ oriental section.
Our goal is to prove the value of diversity with our actions. We want to popularize it by building personal relationships and by using media to show an alternative to racism and xenophobia. We want to re-define the Polish-German relationship – instead of suspicions sustained on both sides we want to exhibit the richness and diversity of both societies. This is why we have summoned young people from small towns and big cities, representing different backgrounds, religious beliefs and cultures.
No Borders Band has gathered a number of extraordinary people, among them Jacek “Budyń” Szymkiewicz from the music group Pogodno, jazz pianist Michał Wróblewski, Justyna Suchecka - a journalist from Gazeta Wyborcza, Błażej Król - a musician from Gorzów, as well as guests from abroad: rapper Jamal Kamano and activist Fatuma Musa Afrah. All of them have conducted workshops with the participants and have taken part in discussions about diversity and its powers. We have played music and singed with our guests – even with Fatuma and her assistant Irene. Although they pretended not to be able to sing, when they opened their mouths, we heard some wonderful African melodies.
The Project was qualified for the finale of a “Youth Prize of PNWM” contest, the motto of which is “Together in Europe. One Aim.” The contest aims at supporting and promoting exchange of ideas between young people from Poland and Germany and understanding diversity. We have gained trust and financial support from an association of polish communes of euroregion Viadrina Pro Europa. We have the patronage of the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights, Adam Bodnar. In August 2018 we played a concert during the Open Door days of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin. We are incredibly grateful for the support of all these institutions and we are looking into the future of our band with high hopes. Our plan is not to limit ourselves with the borders the grant for the project sets for us. We want the band to live, to give concerts and to carry our energy and friendship.
We have created a musical material that you need to hear! By means of a concert tour and media presence we want to infect you with our optimism and hope for peaceful coexistence of all cultures and nationalities. Our actions are aimed locally at meeting face to face with the students of the schools we visit. On the other hand we do our best to obtain global reach through social and traditional media in order to speedily expand our borderless band!