Refugee Week 2021 is nearly here! Confused about what events to go to? Check out IMIX’s top picks of performances, exhibitions and cook-a-long events.
Every summer, the whole nation comes together for Refugee Week. Next week, there’ll be a series of events that shine a spotlight on the voices, talents and experiences of people seeking safety in the UK. For the rest of us, it is an opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes.
Each Refugee Week also has a theme. This year’s slogan is We Cannot Walk Alone, a phrase taken from Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, that references the interconnectivity of all people.
After last year’s first ever virtual Refugee Week, this year the programme is back with an amalgam of real–life events as well as virtual discussions, cookery lessons and chats with celebrities.
The sheer number and variety of events can be overwhelming. But no fear, here are IMIX’s top ten picks that you shouldn’t miss.
1. Celebrate Refugee Week with DJs at the Southbank
Make the most of real-life events returning to this year’s Refugee Week with two days of DJ performances at the iconic Southbank Centre in London. There is a lineup of DJs from cross-cultural backgrounds. It will be taking place over the weekend of 18 June and entry is free.
2. Discussing storytelling with prize-winning photographer Robin Hammond
Here’s one for the photographers and storytellers. International Organisation for Migration (IOM UK) and IMIX have partnered up with renowned photographer Robin Hammond and Witness Change to discuss how we can enable displaced people to take control of the narrative and tell their own stories.
Speaking of extraordinary stories…
3. Virtual Screening of The Man Who Fell From the Sky
IOM UK is also hosting a virtual screening of a Channel 4 documentary about two men who stowed away on the landing gear of a plane to the UK in 2015. One of them fell to his death in London, and the other survived. This extraordinary story examines the complex and difficult decisions faced by people seeking sanctuary.
You can book tickets to this virtual screening and discussion with director, Richard Bentley here.
4. Discussion: what is it like to live in a Palestinian refugee camp as an artist?
Catch this unique opportunity to learn about what it is like to live as young artists in a Palestinian refugee camp. It is streamed directly from Rashidieh, a camp in Lebanon. There will be film screenings and panel discussions with artists who’re currently living in the camp.
5. Lots of laughs at Laff-ucino
If you’re based around London, pop along to Laff-ucino, where you can see comedians from refugee and migration backgrounds perform. The special guest headliner is nationally-known comedian Suzi Ruffell.
6. Arts and performances at Sheffield’s Migration Matters Festival
Sheffield, the UK’s first ever City of Sanctuary, is holding its Migration Matters Festival, which features a week’s worth of events by and about the many communities that call Sheffield home.
You can find the full programme of events on the official Migration Matters website. IMIX’s top pick is Calais in Focus. It is what looks to be a powerful online exhibition that will take you through a journey through the camps at Calais in 3D.
7. Real-life and online screenings at London Migration Film Festival
London Migration Film Festival is also happening throughout Refugee Week. There will be a series of real-life and online screenings, panel discussions and Q&As with the filmmakers. So you don’t have to be based in London to take part.
IMIX’s highlight is an online screening and panel discussions of the short film, City of Lost Children. It is a near-future dystopia set in a detention camp that all too closely resembles our current system. You can book tickets here.
8. Refugee Festival Scotland
For those of you in Scotland, Refugee Festival Scotland will be happening during Refugee Week as well. You can see their full 2021 programme, which includes a mixture of talks, exhibitions, cross-cultural cooking lessons and more.
As a highlight, we’ve picked an online concert that looks ahead to a positive vision of the feature. Hopes For a Post-Covid World: Music and Hope features everything from spoken word poetry (in both Scots and English), and a range of musical performances inspired by traditions around the world.
9. Cook-a-long with Yasmin Khan and Majeda Khoury
If you consider yourself a foodie, you’ve probably heard of Yasmin Khan. Catch the critically acclaimed author of Ripe Figs in this livestreamed cook-a-long session with Syrian chef Majeda Khoury.
10. A series of audio plays about the legacy of the Balkan conflicts
Out of the Woods is a series of new audio plays about the experiences of the Balkan Wars and the aftermath, which saw many people flee the area.
It is an innovative and interactive online event; you can take part in ‘listening parties’, before post-panel discussions after the shows.