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Refugee Week 2020

The theme of Refugee Week 2020 is “imagine” – and who could have imagined that we would be marking it this year in the midst of a lockdown caused by a global pandemic? We had to shelve all our plans and get busy with our partners putting together an exciting virtual festival to celebrate Brighton & Hove’s refugees and migrants.

Here’s what’s coming up…

‘Brightest and Best’ – new documentary miniseries, streaming online 13-20th June

A new documentary miniseries described by creator Joanna Suchomska as ‘stories of resistance’ from migrants. It premieres online 13th June and will be available to stream for free until the 20th. Catch it on their Facebook page and give the page a like to be notified when they go live!

Q&A with Waad al Kateab, ‘For Sama’ Director

Join an online discussion with the Bafta award winning director of For Sama, a powerful film about loss and survival in war-torn Syria. Plus guests from the Syrian community in Brighton.

When: Monday 15th June, 4.15pm
Where: Register here

‘Imagine…a better future for you’ with Ambigo & Hummingbird, 15th June

Hummingbird Young Leader Naqeeb Saide hosts 3 talks from speakers with refugee backgrounds exchanging their stories of achieving a goal. The second half of the chat will be people from the wider community including Refugee Week Ambassador, Phati Mnguni. The viewers of the event will offer advice, contacts and other support to help make them happen! It will be live on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Join the talk on Monday 15th June 6.30 – 8,30pm on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and through Eventbrite.
Free tickets through Eventbrite

Best Foot Music celebrate Refugee Week, 18th June

Join Brighton’s Best Foot Music for an evening of music from around the world. Here’s the line-up so far:

  • Jamal & Alaa (Syrian music)
  • Bashir Al Gamar (Sudanese)
  • Polina & Merlin Shepherd (Russian/Jewish folk)

Here’s a taster of Jamal & Alaa.

Tune in here on Thursday 18th June 7.30pm for the performances.

No Direction (at) Home comedy night, 19th June

Live, online laughter from the brilliant No Direction Home comedy collective in partnership with Sanctuary on Sea. Book your free spot here.

Message in a Bottle, 20th June

SEAS (the Socially Engaged Art Salon) is hosting an interactive afternoon where they will launch their Refugee Week exhibition, Message in a Bottle, and feature short films, live music and a short art workshop. It’s a family event – all welcome!

Message in a Bottle was designed by photographer and community facilitator Jane Lancashire with the consultation of Dr Gil Mualem-Doron, SEAS’s creative producer, to commemorate the lives of refugees and migrants that have been lost crossing the Mediterranean Sea – over 20,000 since 2014. To create the installation, messages of love and support have been written onto plastic bottles which are then cut up and heated with a heat gun. Each piece curls and ends up unique in shape. People have copied poems and lyrics that resonate with them, or written their own words. You can follow the project’s journey here.

When: Saturday, June 20th 15:00-17:00

Where: On Zoom: Register here and a link will be sent to you.

Brighton and Hove Libraries celebrate Refugee Week

Our libraries are putting on a whole host of virtual events for children and adults!

more details:

Brighton & Hove Libraries Refugee Week online storytime
Children’s storytime on the theme ‘Imagine’.
When: Mon 15th, Wed 17th and Fri 19th June at 10.15am
Where: on their Facebook page

Brighton & Hove Libraries Refugee Week Children’s Crafts
To highlight the importance of home and community for all we’re inviting you to make your own shoebox house. All you’ll need is a box (it doesn’t have to be a shoebox!), some bits and bobs to decorate your house, and most importantly your imagination!
When: Mon 15th June at 2.30pm
Where: on the B&H Facebook page

Brighton & Hove libraries Refugee Week Baby Boogie
Celebrating the Refugee Week Simple Act to ‘share a song’.
When: Thursday 18th June, 2.30pm
Where: On their Facebook page.

National Reading Group Day​
Brighton & Hove Libraries are joining in with National Reading Group Day with this online discussion about Christy Lefteri’s Beekeeper of Aleppo. Join in and borrow the book from Borrowbox using your library card!
When: Sat 20th June at 11am
Where: Reading Agency Facebook page

Brighton & Hove libraries Bash the Trash Boogie for Make Music Day
A special boogie session with homemade instruments, celebrating the Simple Act to ‘share a song’.
When: Sun 21st June, 2.30pm.
Where: On their Facebook page.

Brighton and Hove Libraries staff Reading Recommendations
Want some reading inspiration? Discover staff picks over on Twitter and Facebook which will be posted between Mon15th – Sun 21st June.

And…it’s competition time!

Can you write 50 words on the the theme of ‘imagine’ for Refugee Week? Jubilee library are running this flash fiction challenge and entries are welcome from anyone, all ages! Submit your entry to [email protected] by 20 June.

Windrush Presence 2020 launch, 22nd June

BME Heritage Network is launching its 2020 Windrush programme with a free event on 22 June featuring very special guest Patrick Vernon OBE, social commentator, campaigner and cultural historian. The Windrush Presence project celebrates the contributions of the Windrush generation to British social, cultural and political life and this evening will feature talks, live music, short film showings and performances. Book your space now as they may run out: click here. All welcome!

Euromernet celebrate Refugee Week 

The Euro Mediterranean Resources Network (Euromernet) have a packed schedule of events for the week, including: 

A special radio show dedicated to Refugee Week with studio guests, poems and songs by and for refugees. Thursday 18th June 2-4pm, Live on Brighton & Hove Community Radio

Euromernet film club celebrates Refugee Week

Euromernet will host a series of films themed around refugees to mark the week, all free to watch. Find the full list of showings here.

And tons of interactive events:

Imagine a World Without Wars, 16th June
Guest speaker Shadi, an artist and educator from Syria, will join Euromernet online from Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. He will share his experiences fleeing conflict as well as his knowledge of the region’s rich arts and cultural heritage. Join the live link-up Tuesday 16th June, at 6-8pm. Details will be posted here

Euromernet poetry club: ‘Verse a Tile’, 17th June
A poetic homage to Refugee Week where people are invited to write a short poem on a ’tile’ of any material – ceramic, wood, paper – and share it online. When: Wednesday 17th June, 6-7pm. Details will be posted here

Red Umbrella Parade, 20th June
Euromernet are hosting their annual activists’ parade marking World Refugee Day online this year. Join the protest on Zoom from 2-3pm on Saturday 20th June – details will be posted here

Human Chain against hate speech, 21st June
Euromernet are joining forces with No Hate Speech UK to form a virtual human chain against hate speech and false narratives targeting refugees, an event that usually takes place in central Brighton. When: Sunday 21st June, 2-3pm. Details will be posted here

Euromernet Poetry Club: words, the migratory birds, 21st June
A poetic homage to Refugee Week with examples of poems through history, written by poets during their journeys in exile. Participants are welcome to read their own poems on the topic. When: Sunday 21st June, 3-4 pm. Details will be posted here

Euromernet Cultural Heritage Club exhibition: ‘Imagine: Utopias in History’
In collaboration with Brighton & Hove Libraries, this new exhibition will explore the stories of people who dreamt of perfect worlds, and tried to create them. It will run from 15-29th June. Details will be posted here

Imagine a world-garden (all week) 

A new online project has launched to mark Refugee Week in Brighton this year. ‘Imagine a world-garden’ is a Facebook group (click here) open to anyone to post in.

Here’s how to take part:

  • Select an image of a tree, plant or flower that you like, has special meaning to you or a great significance in your culture.
  • Write about it (350 words maximum) and post the image or
  • Present your tree, plant or flower through painting, poetry, music, or other medium.

Tag us @BrightonSanct in your post and we’ll share them!

Do a Simple Act!

What would your school, community or city look like, if you made the rules? 

This year’s Simple Act is an invitation for children and young people to step back from the current moment and imagine the world you want to see. You can take this Simple Act wherever your imagination wants to go and start as small or as big as you like. Here are some ideas:

  • Draw, paint, craft or write a poem or story about the world you want to see
  • Write a poem or short story starting with ‘Imagine if…’ or ‘Imagine a world where…’
  • Imagine you had to leave your home behind. What would you take with you? What would you hope to find?
  • Stick your imagining in your window, send it to a friend and share it on Instagram using the hashtags #SimpleActs #Imagine. Don’t forget to use #BHRefugeeWeek so we know you’re from Brighton & Hove!

For more Refugee Week ideas for children and young people, see this briefing we have prepared. The BEEM website has lots of information about Schools of Sanctuary in Brighton & Hove and resources for them.

We’ll be sharing the Simple Acts over on our Facebook page, so make sure you give us a ‘like’!

Want to be involved?

Drop us a line at [email protected] 

We are grateful to the Pebble Trust for their kind support for Brighton & Hove Refugee Week

Refugee Week 2019

Refugee Week 2018

Refugee Week 2017

Refugee Week 2016