Programme revealed for Refugee Week Scotland 2012

Scottish Refugee Council is delighted to announce details of the Refugee Week Scotland 2012 programme.

This year the programme supports the Year of Creative Scotland and is the most far-reaching in its twelve year history, with events being celebrated from Orkney to the Scottish Borders.

From film festivals to football tournaments, comedy nights to carnivals, exhibitions, concerts, workshops, parties and much more, Refugee Week Scotland 2012 (18 – 24 June) is a week-long festival recognising both the contribution refugees make to Scottish culture and the welcome and support Scotland gives to refugees.

Scottish Refugee Council is also launching its Refugee Week Fundraising appeal. All proceeds raised will allow us to continue supporting refugees seeking sanctuary in Scotland.

Acclaimed musician

Refugee Week Scotland opens its festivities with a concert, curated by Mercury prize nominated King Creosote, founder of the acclaimed Scottish independent music label, the Fence Collective.

He will also be headlining the night as well as performing with special guests, including other Fence members, The Pictish Trail and Randolph’s Leap.

All proceeds raised from the concert will go to Scottish Refugee Council and British Red Cross.

Refugee Week also marks the culmination of our Spirit photography project at Trongate 103 (8 June – 22 July). Scottish Refugee Council, in partnership with Street Level Photoworks, has been working with seven photographers from refugee backgrounds who have been out photographing different refugee communities.

Help us to ensure this great festival continues to go from strength to strength - Suzi Simpson.

Suzi Simpson, Arts and Cultural Development Officer said: “We are really excited to launch another fabulous Refugee Week, this year themed around Spirit.

"There are over 100 events planned including a star-studded opening concert featuring Fence Collective’s King Creosote, an exclusive preview of excerpts from Cora Bissett’s new musical, Glasgow Girls, and a wealth of community celebrations demonstrating the strength of spirit of refugees across Scotland.

 "This year we are also launching our Refugee Week Scotland Fundraising Appeal. We can’t do this without support so we hope everyone will get in the spirit and help us to ensure this great festival continues to go from strength to strength.”

Download our programme at www.refugeeweekscotland.com

For further information, interviews or photographs contact Media Officers: Karin Goodwin (Mon-Wed) or Wendy Niblock (Thu-Fri) on 0141 223 7927 / 07850 930418 or email media@scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk

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Notes to editors

1. Refugee Week Scotland is coordinated by Scottish Refugee Council and runs from June 18 – 24 June at venues across Scotland. For more details see www.refugeeweekscotland.com

2. The theme for this year’s Refugee Week is Spirit.

  • Spirit of survival – the determination needed to flee persecution and rebuild your life
  • Community spirit – the connections made between refugees and local communities
  • Scotland’s spirit – the cultural diversity celebrated throughout the UK today

3. The purpose of Refugee Week is to deliver positive educational messages that counter fear, ignorance and negative stereotypes of refugees, through arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and promote understanding about the reasons why people seek sanctuary.

4. Refugee Week was first held in 1998, and was created in response to the increasingly negative perceptions of refugees and asylum seekers held by the general public in Britain. It remains the only UK-wide event that promotes the importance of sanctuary and the benefits it can bring to both refugees and host communities.

5. Refugee Week Scotland is the centre piece of Scottish Refugee Council’s arts and cultural work. This year we also launch our three year Arts, Culture, Sports and Heritage Strategy which sets out our vision for ensuring refugees and wider communities are enabled to participate in the Year of Creative Scotland and in the future national events such as the Year of Natural Scotland in 2013 and the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

6. Our fundraising will allow Scottish Refugee Council to provide much needed advice and services to people seeking sanctuary in Scotland. In particular:

  • our new multilingual helpline that will greatly improve access to advice and allow people seeking asylum to get information in their own language
  • our ongoing work integrating Refugees into Scottish communities
  • Continue to co-ordinate Refugee Week Scotland in years to come