Refugee Week is the world’s largest arts and cultural festival celebrating the lives of refugees. This year marks its 25-year anniversary. The week runs from 19-25 June but there are many other ‘Refugee Week’ events taking place over the summer. Refugee Day is 20 June.
Refugee Week’s vision is for “refugees and asylum seekers to be able to live safely within inclusive and resilient communities, where they can continue to make a valuable contribution”. The aim is to help people connect beyond borders, and to better understand refugee journeys and lives. This year’s theme is compassion.
Extending the welcome
Anyone can hold an event or join in with an event. Some events are ‘private’, for example those taking place in a ‘School (or college) of Sanctuary’ but most are open to everyone.
Most people’s contribution in Refugee Week will be through ‘simple acts’. These are any activities, no matter how small, that celebrate or support refugees. It may be having a chat with a neighbour about refugee week and what’s on locally, inviting a friend to share a meal that celebrates food from a different country, reading a book or watching a film about refugees, drawing or putting a poster (downloadable posters here) in the window.
Where to celebrate Refugee Week in Yorkshire?
An up-to-date list of events in Yorkshire with opening times and addresses can be found here.
The range of events is wide with festivities covering:
- Arts e.g. Bradford schools and Colleges of Sanctuary art exhibition at Trapezium Arts.
- Music e.g. Opera North at the Howard Assembly Rooms Leeds.
- Food e.g. Ukrainian food and music in Settle.
- Theatre e.g. Dear Laila at Good Chance Theatre in Kirklees.
- Sport e.g. the 7-a-side Refugee World Cup.
- Walking e.g. Bradford City Hall to Horton Community Farm.
Many of Yorkshire’s churches will be focusing on refugees in their weekly services. Some North Yorkshire libraries will have displays during the week and there are many local refugee groups running street stalls. There are exhibitions at Trapezium Arts (Bradford), Leeds Minster and Skipton Library.
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