Refugee Week is 20 years old - & more vibrant than ever. How will you celebrate it this weekend?
This week communities and individuals across the UK are celebrating Refugee Week 2018. The umbrella festival has been going strong for 20 years and every year (in the week that includes 20/6 - World Refugee Day) they encourage a diverse range of events to be held.
These facilitate positive encounters between refugees and the general public, in order to spur greater understanding and overcome hostility. The aim is to showcase the talent and expertise that refugees bring with them to the UK.
On the Refugee Week website you can find an array of events, from supper clubs, to art exhibitions and football tournaments happening all over the UK. TimeOut also recommends 8 things to do for Refugee Week in London. One event on their list that caught our attention in particular is a free screening of the ground-breaking and vital documentary 'Human Flow' by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei at the British Museum this Sunday.
The film follows Weiwei across the globe as he attempts to capture the reality of forced human movement. Watch the trailer on YouTube. There's a whole programme of events (check it out here) to take part in at British Museum on Sunday - curated by Counterpoint Arts who work to ensure that the arts by and about migrants and refugees are recognized and welcomed within British arts, history and culture.
If you are more of a homebody we can recommend going to Channel Four to watch 'Britain's Refugee Children' on-demand. The documentary follows six refugee children as they adapt to new lives in Britain, seeking sanctuary from violence and destruction at home. One of the children is 10-year-old Abdul from Syria - a gentle soul with a big smile and big dreams for the future. Get a sneak peak of his first day in a Welsh primary school in the tweet embedded below.
And while you are on your computer, Refugee Week suggests 20 simple acts you can do to help change the way we see refugees, and ourselves.
We especially enjoy act nr. 20 - "Look into the future":
Psychologists recognise our 20s as the most formative age of adulthood. What we do and don’t do in that decade shapes who we are for the rest of our lives.
So a 20th birthday is a good moment to reflect. On how we got this far, and what the future might hold. What we’d like it to hold, in our wildest dreams. That’s why, as we celebrate the past 20 years of Refugee Week, we’re inviting you to look forward.
What are your hopes and dreams for the next 20 years, or for the future in general? For yourself, for the rights of people on the move, for the UK, the planet or the world?
Share your ideas in a video message, blog post, Tweet, drawing or however you like and share using the hashtag #SimpleActs (or send them to us by email).
As Refugee Week enters its formative decade, there is much to celebrate and much to fight for.
Help us imagine what the next twenty years might look like.
As a last recommendation from us - we urge you to watch this moving animated music video made by Majid Adin, an Iranian artist who has sought refuge in the UK, to dramatise the Nick Mulvey song 'Myela', itself inspired by the refugee situation. Watch below and find the lyrics here.
Happy Refugee Week(end)!