On June 3rd, 2017 at 6pm,  DE-CONSTRUKT [projekts] hosted an evening Creative Solidarity a Benefit for RDJ Shelter in support and celebration of the RDJ Refugee Shelter, the only shelter in New York City (Harlem) specifically for homeless asylum seekers and refugees. With our fundraising efforts we raised over $1,100.

It was an important and exciting evening of food, drinks, music, performance, storytelling, a raffle and much more–with all proceeds benefiting the RDJ Refugee Shelter!

The RDJ Refugee Shelter, along with DE-CONSTRUKT, promoted the work of artists, performers, musicians, and activists, created by and in support of asylum seekers living in New York City. The exhibit will include photographs, video, mixed media, and furniture–the result of a furniture refurbishing workshop for shelter guests run by exhibited artist, Ahmed Awney.

Visual and performance artist, Georgia Lale featured her photographs from her performance art project entitled #OrangeVest, which confronts the refugee crisis in Europe with public interventions performed at sites such as the United Nations, The National Mall, and beyond. Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos, a multi-disciplinary conceptual artist, showed photographs. Her work investigates the definition and construction of identities, personal memories, culture and collective histories in the post-Internet age. Ahmed Awney featured his latest works–a set of photographs titled “The Fourteen Stations of a Refugee” based on the Stations of the Cross, a Catholic devotion that commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day on Earth as a man. He also elaborated on his workshop program created in collaboration with the RDJ Shelter. We screened a short documentary titled “Bodies of Resilience” directed by Jill Woodward and choreographed by Despina Sophia Stamos.

Performance and musical acts included musicians and spoken word artists from all genres with songs of resistance, revolution, and solidarity. Musical talent comprised of the empowering NYC-based bands Koyt Far Dayn Fardakht, a queer/trans anti-zionist Yiddish punk band, and Fat Boy Wilson & Old Viejo Bones performing folk blues and songs of resistance with a special guest Claudio Montouri aka The Bird Man of Rome and 81ack 8astards, a Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Rock Band Duo whose music discusses the raw material and sociopolitical subject matter that affects the urban and ethnic youth population. Multimedia artist E. Okobi performed spoken word, and musician Chilly G presented poetry and songs. We started the night with vibraphonist Sean McCaul, a NYC based musician/composer who has performed and recorded with a diverse and notable range of artists, including, Philip Glass, Yo Yo Ma, Dean and Britta, and Shilpa Ray.

We ended the evening with DJ Hell, a veteran composer, sound designer, experimental club DJ/turntablist, and video director/producer, creating barrage collages of big beats and noise, seaming together multiple music genres, cultures and generations.

Throughout the night, there was various opportunities to donate to RDJ Shelter.

We had a raffle to win a Red Hook Lobster Pound $25 gift card, Hometown BBQ– (2) $50 gift cards, Trader Joe’s– gift bag, Fort Defiance– $50 gift certificate, Cacao Prieto – certificate for (2) person weekend tour, Eva Perotta, LMT, RSMT-E – (1) session bodywork certificate, Larissa Humphrey, Personal Trainer – (1) 60 minute at-home, private personal training session including a fitness assessment, nutrition and behavioral counseling, and a total body circuit workout, Van Brunt Stillhouse – (1) certifcate for distillery tour and whiskey tasting for (4) people.

Thank you to all the businsess that donated to the raffle and for Sixpoint Brewery, Richard Dennis, Mark Miller and The Ice House for beer and food donations.