This week is the one year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, a disaster that killed 72 people, injured 70, and displaced hundreds. The tragedy was entirely preventable and a result of construction decisions that prioritized cost over safety, and a tenant organization that refused to listen to pleas for help from concerned residents. The need for justice, accountability, and reparations are just as strong now as it was 365 days ago, and somewhat unfairly, it still falls on those most deeply affected to remind us of these truths.
"Fire In Grenfell" is a ballad over the instrumental to "Read All About It Pt. III" by Emeli Sandé with lyrics written and performed by Yousra Cherbika and Johara Menacar, two 13-year-olds affected by the Grenfell fire. Yousra lost a home, and both girls lost their friends Firdaws Hashim, 12, and Nur Huda El-Wahabi, 16. Yousra & Johara chose to sing over "Read All About It" as a tribute to Firdaws, who sang it in a talent competition.
The video was made possible by Grenfell Voices, an organization helping those affected by the Grenfell fire express themselves creatively. It's an inspiring endeavor, but by far the bravest thing about this is Yousra & Johara's willingness to explore their trauma in memory of their friends, and in doing so, to petition our consciences. Download the song for free here.