Great minds from London’s booming creative industry came together recently for an emotional evening to showcase The Lotus Flower’s achievements so far.
A Night with The Lotus Flower was hosted by founder Taban Shoresh, who introduced friendly faces from the worlds of media, fashion, art and music to the charity’s work with women and girl conflict survivors in Kurdistan.
Held at the capital’s Never Fade, guests included internationally acclaimed poet Hussain Manawer and Philip Thomas, CEO of the Cannes Lions, who said of Taban: “She needs an army behind her. I would love to be part of that army, and I hope you will as well.”
Fresh from touring with Harry Styles, renowned singer Clare Uchima and the aptly-titled Lotus Flower Choir came together for a powerful one-off performance. Speaking about the evening, Clare said: “I’m mind-blown,” while fellow singer Kalon Rae added: “These women have had such terrible histories and they’re trying to build new lives. It’s absolutely incredible.”
Another of the evening’s highlights was a surprise dance-off to Beyoncé’s Run the World (Girls), with professional dancer Georgina Caird saying: “Taban is the most inspirational woman I’ve ever met. You would never believe the woman standing before you has been through what she has.”
Award-winning photographer Alice Aedy also presented a collection of portraits from a recent trip to The Lotus Flower centres in Kurdistan, telling the crowd: “These guys are doing so much with so little. It’s just remarkable.”
Also inspired was ex pro-boxer Cathy Brown, who helped launch The Lotus Flower’s Boxing Sisters programme in Kurdistan. Summing up the event, she said: “We’ve had amazing singers, amazing dancers and amazing poets. It’s been a real evening of empowerment.”
Meanwhile, The Lotus Flower’s Events and Partnerships Manager Gareth Smith – who gave up his successful hairdressing career to get involved with the charity – said: “I started doing Taban’s hair, and her story just really touched my heart. So, I quit my job and came to work for her. It was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.”
Addressing the guests, Taban herself said: “Tonight was the first opportunity we’ve had to tell people who we are and what we do. I hope it continues to flourish. The future’s just begun.”
Check out a special video of the night here, presented by Levan Wolf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw9Yn2NTw1w&t=5s