Johnny Augland has long experience in making blues music, and has previously engaged and inspired other young blues musicians. Now, he is using his voice to shed light on humanitarian challenges in the on-going refugee situation in Greece and Europe. This is done by releasing a song called «Liten Flykting» (Norwegian, meaning little refugee), on 20 June 2019 on the boat MS Bjørvika, and donating the proceeds to A Drop in the Ocean’s work for people on the run.
By: Vibeke Hoem, information officer at A Drop in the Ocean Translated by: Hanne Buller, HR- and information assistant
How did the song “Little Refugee” come about?
– One day, I was reading a crime novel about human trafficking from Western Africa, which was very raw and descriptive, and I also listened to a radio show with Jan Egeland which described the situation for refugees. – I thought that something had to be done. That is when I wrote the song. The lyrics came to me quickly – and the song “Little Refugee” came about.
How did you get in touch with A Drop in the Ocean, and what made you decide to give the proceeds of your song to our work?
– Just after I wrote the song, I heard about A Drop in the Ocean from my wife, Julia, who is one over the owners of the shop “the Collective” in Kristiansand where the customers are given the opportunity to support the work of A Drop in the Ocean. Thereafter, I read about Peter Lukas’ exhibition in Larvik, and I went to see it prior to contacting Peter Lukas, who told me more about the work A Drop in the Ocean does. I then contacted Birgit Hjelmtvedt (HR – and Emergency Manager at A Drop in the Ocean) who had a presentation at the opening of the exhibition in Larvik, which quickly evolved into this event.
Johnny wants his contribution to inspire other to do the same as him.
– If you can contribute in any way, it might inspire other people to help too – contributing to help acquire means to give to something to people living in horrifying conditions, is important.
In conjunction with the World Refugee Day on June 20th, you will launch your song and play it for the first time. What are your thoughts on the current situation for refugees in Greece?
– When someone is running from war and misery, expecting to be given a fresh start, only to end up in place where they are stuck is horrible. What thoughts are going through their heads in that situation? Imagine putting yourself in their shoes, where someone gives you a tent, with no perception of how long you are going to stay there whilst waiting – probably for several years. Abandoning people in helpless situations is not okay, it is not something we are allowed to do. It frustrates me greatly that people turn their backs on refugees.
Johnny Augland will perform his song “Little Refugee” for the very first time on World Refugee Day on Thursday June 20th at the boat MS Bjørvika in Oslo, Norway, in conjunction with the launch of the report “Time Witnesses from Greece”. The event is from 11.30-13.30. Read more about the event here, and if you want to attend the event, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org