Since 2009, Turning Tables Jordan and Turning Tables Lebanon have been working with conflict-affected youth and the refugee communities tending to the proximate conditions surrounding youth in the region. For almost a decade, we have pursued this vision in some of the world’s most troubled places, building a unique network of local artists and training youth to carry on our projects. We have set up music labs for marginalized refugee and IDP youth in Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia and Syria.
“Turntables in the Camps” was our first programme focused on the inclusion of young refugees in the global youth culture of DJ-ing and the creation of electronic music. To facilitate this, we arranged workshops and set up permanent local DJ schools for refugee boys and girls in order to demonstrate the universal access to freedom of speech through creative expression no matter who you are. Turning Tables currently has permanent DJ schools in connection with the camps of Sabra/Shatila, Mar Elias and Burj Barajneh in Beirut, Nahr el-Bared near Tripoli, and the Jabal el-Hussein camp in Amman. These schools are all driven by local NGOs and volunteers.
We have comprehensive experience from working with creative projects for traumatized and vulnerable youth in refugee camps as well as social cohesion projects involving refugees and their communities. We have produced music albums focusing on freedom of speech and women's rights, as well as festivals and performance events around the region. Our relationship with film production and music recording companies ensures long term committed partners for music and film related capacity development as well as access and visibility on international music festivals and art biennales. Our tracks, albums, music videos and documentaries are featured via local media channels as well as special screenings at International documentary film festivals such as Hot Docs in Toronto, IDFA in Amsterdam, DOC NYC in New York and CPH:DOX in Copenhagen.
Turning Tables’ international department was initially established in Lebanon in 2009 by Martin Fernando Jakobsen and the Danish band Den Sorte Skole. Today, Turning Tables is established globally in Myanmar, Kenya, Colombia, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Lebanon and Jordan. Although operating independently, all departments are working to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable young people through the use of creative means.