Refugee Festival Scotland 2017 events

You can see a full list of events during Refugee Festival Scotland 2017 (from Tuesday 20 June to Sunday 2 July) on the Scottish Refugee Council website.

Come and help form a human chain in Glasgow’s George Square in an event marking World Refugee Day on Tuesday 20 June starting at 11am. It’s an opportunity to stand in solidarity with refugees and show that we want people seeking refugee protection to be treated fairly and with dignity. The SambaYaBamba Youth Street Band will provide uplifting entertainment while arms are linked and the human chain is formed. Organised by Scottish Refugee Council, Amnesty International and Oxfam Scotland.

Between Tuesday 20 and Saturday 24 June, the Renfield Centre in Glasgow’s Bath Street will host This Light That Pushes Me, a photographic exhibition featuring peace builders from sub-Saharan Africa. All have experienced some form of violence. Photographs and personal testimonies will trace the journeys that have transformed suffering into a force for social change. An insight into the human capacity to give heart and soul to nonviolent change and reconnect in the hardest circumstances. Open daily between 10.30am and 5pm and supported by Glasgow Quakers.

The free film Welcome to Refugeestan is being screened by Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet) at 5.30pm on Wednesday 21 in the Centre for Contemporary Arts. Shot in Kenya, Tanzania, Jordan, the border of Greece/Macedonia as well as the UNHCR offices, the film focuses on the way the UNHCR manages camps that shelter more than 16 million refugees all around the world, creating a virtual country as large as the Netherlands. How can they deal with the urgent needs of thousands of new refugees that arrive each day? How has this emergency response turned into a durable situation with an average stay of over fifteen years? What are the long-term perspectives for this kind of response to humanitarian urgency?

A double bill of theatre at Renfield St Stephens Centre in Glasgow has been organised by the Glasgow Quakers at 7.30pm on Thursday 22 and Friday 23. The Bundle is a biting satire based around a real woman’s domestic persecution and denial of human rights in Chechnya. Abducted into a forced marriage and then subjected to a life of servitude, she takes the ultimate risk in plotting her escape to the UK where she finds a home, but also encounters the Home Office’s hostile environment with regard to asylum seekers and refugees. Feeding the Darkness is an immersive 65-minute performance with verbatim dialogue taken from research into the dark world of state-sanctioned torture and its stark impact on victims, perpetrators, families and those who collude in the process. It includes the experiences of the mother of Private Lynddie England (court-martialled for her role in the abuse of Abu Ghraib detainees) as well as a Kurdish asylum seeker’s appeal tribunal and trained medical professionals who participated in state-sanctioned torture.

An afternoon of readings Celebrating Belonging – a reading of work on journey, community and belonging will take place in Glasgow Women’s Library (23 Landressy Street) from 12.30pm on Thursday 22.

The Solas Festival in Perth and Kinross over the weekend of Friday 23-Sunday 25 will include performances from refugee artists and a talk by Prof Alison Phipps (co-convener of GRAMNet at the University of Glasgow).

In the past two years over 1,000 Syrian refugees have been resettled in both Scotland and South Australia. At 9am on Thursday 29, GRAMNet together with Migration and Refugee Research Network (MARRNet) are hosting a virtual link-up between Glasgow and Adelaide, South Australia to discuss the challenges and opportunities for resettlement of refugees from Syria and to learn from the similarities and differences in resettlement experiences across two locations.

Dundee West Church is hosting A Taste of Syria from 7pm on Friday 30. The local event will showcase Syrian artistry, including a performance by Ayman Jarjour, an internationally renowned Syrian classical guitarist and graduate of The Juilliard School in New York, readings of Omar Imady’s poetry and a selection of short films by Waref Abu Quba, Juan DelGado and films developed with the support of Bidayyat بدايات. The event will also feature music videos, testimonials and art work created by Syrians living in Lebanon with the support of Mishwar Amal, a Scottish charity based in Lebanon.

Finally on Sunday 2 July, Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees and Christian Aid Scotland have organised Shoulder to Shoulder, a pilgrimage walk open to all along the well-worn paths of the ancient and spiritual mountain of Ben Ledi, near Callander in Scotland.

Virtual event

An online seminar is being organised by Swansea City of Sanctuary at 1pm on Tuesday 27 to introduce their digital inclusion toolkit. Over an hour free digital tools and resources will be highlighted that can help people seeking sanctuary. Registration required. A face-to-face training session in Swansea will be held the following day on Wednesday 28 between 10am and 1pm.