#Imagine: what to look out for in Refugee Week 2020

By 12/06/2020Tips

From comedy and cookery classes to musical performances and film, this year’s Refugee Week programme has a huge variety of events for its first ever virtual festival.

The aim is to bring different communities together across the UK, highlight and explore experiences of displacement and showcase the talents and voices of refugees and asylum seekers. The theme this year is #imagine and events will be looking at how we can together imagine the world differently.

Not sure where to start? Well, to offer you a taste of what next week will be like, IMIX has picked out ten events you really shouldn’t miss.

1. Stand-up comedy with No Direction Home

The collective of comics from refugee and migrant backgrounds No Direction Home will perform with two stand-up comedy sessions at 8pm on 16th and 21st June 21. Organised by Counterpoints Arts, STAR and Southbank Centre, the show will bring on stage Somali-born, Cardiff-raised rising comedy star Mo Omar and a special guest to be announced.

Book your place for the show on 16th June here, and find more information here for the one on 21st June.

2. Adnan, Help Refugees short film

A special screening for a preview of the new short film Adnan, with a panel discussion at the end on 14th June at 7pm. Adnan is the fictional story of a ten-year-old Syrian refugee boy resettled in the UK, who must use all his creativity to break through his mother’s PTSD or risk losing her forever.

The film will be live-streamed on Help Refugees’ Facebook page.

3. Poetry shows with Sheffield and Coventry collectives

The Hum of Words Beneath Our Feet: A Poetry Show from Change the Word, live on 17th June at 6pm, is global poetry show featuring Good Chance’s Change the Word collectives from Sheffield and Coventry.  Emerging poets with roots in DRC, Ethiopia, Guyana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Pakistan, Sudan and the UK will perform their work as part of Migration Matters Festival, Refugee Week’s spin-off festival based in Sheffield.

4.  Gesture exchange with Farah Salah

On 17th and 19th June at 10am a session of movement, connection and plenty of fun with Edinburgh-based Palestinian dancer Farah Salah who brings participants from refugee and non-refugee backgrounds to dance together.

Book your place for this event here.

5.  Integrate That, a new podcast by Abdulwahab Tahhan

A new podcast, Integrate That will be launched at 9.30pm on 17th June as part of the Migration Matters Festival. With this, the show Aleppo-raised researcher and stand-up comedian Abdulwahab Tahhan aims to give a voice to fellow refugees telling about their experiences in the UK.  Have a listen to the trailer:

6. A talk about racism with Stand Up to Racism

With the current Covid-19 pandemic disproportionately affecting black and ethnic minority lives, join Former Sheffield Lord Mayor and MEP Magid Magid, NHS doctor and campaigner Dr Sonia Adesara, NHS worker and BAFTA winner Hassan Akkad for the talk, Is Covid-19 racist? on 19th June, 6pm. They will explore racial discrimination in government policy, healthcare and today’s society.

Book your place for this event here.

7. Counterpoints Arts, Imagine Anthology launch

This Refugee Week anthology’s theme is Imagine which will be launched with an author’s panel on June 17 at 7pm. The digital collection features Mohsin Hamid, Edmund de Waal, Dina Nayeri and Rupi Kaur alongside emerging voices with lived experience of displacement all imagining how the world could be different. The stunning collection of writing is available to download for free.

Book your place for this event here.

8. Narratives of Hope, Solidarity and Resilience from Oxford

Oxford City of Sanctuary and Oxford Human Rights Festival have organised a panel discussion about changing the narrative around refugees on 19th June, 5pm. Led by Basma El Doukhi, Masters candidate at the Centre of Development and Emergency Practice at Oxford Brookes University and stateless Palestinian refugee, the talk will also feature the Oxford Lord Mayor.

Book your place for this event here.

9. Lady Leshurr’s new song and music video launch

Rapper and co-host of ITV2’s Don’t Hate the Playaz, Lady Leshurr launches a specially commissioned track to celebrate diversity in football. The exciting launch on 19th June will be followed by a discussion bringing together fans, artists and former players.

More information here.

10. An online exhibition by Refugee Rescue

Throughout the week, some online exhibitions will be accessible through the Refugee Week website. One of these is Stories of Search and Rescue: What will we have left? by Refugee Rescue, which uses photography, audio, video, written testimony and art to share the reality of search and rescue.

More information here.


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Over 20,000 migrant deaths in Mediterranean since 2014 Non-Assistance in the Central Mediterranean becomes the Norm Over 400 migrants returned to Libya over weekend Libya says migrants stopped at sea will not be let back in COVID-19 port closures leave migrants stranded at sea Malta won’t accept rescued migrants, NGO rescue ships told NGO boats to be blocked ‘all summer’ from Italian ports Italian police arrest migrant-rescue ship captain after docking Erdogan warns Europe to expect ‘millions’ of migrants after Turkey opens borders Violence Against Asylum Seekers at Border Two migrants killed at Turkey-Greece border Attacks against NGOs in Lesvos Extra riot police sent to Lesvos Commission silent on Greece suspending asylum claims ‘Migrants never disappeared’: the lone rescue ship braving a pandemic Refugee Week 2020: 15th – 21st June. What Will We Have Left? Stories of Search and Rescue at Sea.

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For more information, you can find the complete calendar of events here.

IMIX will also be releasing a range of content throughout the week so stay tuned to our Twitter account. Get involved online using #RefugeeWeek2020 #imagine.

Enjoy imaging a different world next week with Refugee Week and IMIX. We hope to ‘see’ you there!

Author IMIX

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