‘A female-led mini-festival to highlight and celebrate the role women in the community played during and after the Grenfell Tower fire!’ As Tom, editor of Urban Dandy, had said: “they were the ones who stepped up and held the community together”.
Sitting in The Tabernacle, planning WeCoproduce’s project for a free gig as part of the “Trauma Matters” event, I remembered Dawn, a mother of three, born and bred in North Kensington.
As an upstanding member of her community, Dawn, among many other locals, quickly answered the immediate cries for help that government was ignorant of. Converting every available space into emergency refuges, donation points, improvised but functioning healing centres; in an outpouring of kindness and an overwhelming wave of support from residents abandoned by their council. North Kensington was standing tall.
Emotional and mental stress have been known to cause the heart to work harder. Dawn suddenly passed away less than two months after the fire, from a cardiac arrest.
Two years on and Kinetic Minds, a local collective led by the talented composer Andre Louis opened this eclectic female-fronted night, as a tribute to Andre’s late mother, Dawn.
The performances were by women who all live in two worlds, heads in the sky but feet on the ground; women who are outspoken and engaged in good causes, with a love of sharing knowledge and healing sounds; intelligent and creative in thoughts and actions.
From the grace and elegance of folk singer-songwriter Helen McCookerybook, to the captivating Desta Haile, a soul-jazz-reggae singer; North Kensington was standing tall.
From the conscious and atmospheric trip-hop artist Ishani, to the most urban classically trained “Avant-Gardist,” the Grime Violinist, North Kensington was standing tall.
From the uplifting and infectious Judi’s Rhythm of Jazz to the late vibrant jazz singer Yazzy, North Kensington was standing tall.
All different in styles, genres, origins, and ages but all the same in being empowering and strong role models who reminded us that everything we do just connects, whether it’s through music, words or actions.
R.I.P. DAWN RENAULT 28/07/1967 – 08/08/2017
This article was first published by We Coproduce CIC