All aboard – Refugee Week Scotland is going on a journey

All aboard – Refugee Week Scotland is going on a journey

Young people from Ignite youth theatre help to launch the Refugee Week Scotland 2010 programme by performing at Glasgow’s Central Station, highlighting the difficult journeys that refugees are forced to undertake.

Refugee Week Scotland, this year themed around Journeys, takes place from June 14-20 and the programme – which contains over 110 arts performances, exhibitions, community celebrations, seminars, film screenings and sporting events – is now available.

Award-winning theatre group Ignite are 14-19 year-old Glaswegians, refugees and young people seeking asylum from countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Somalia. The group, formerly known as Knightswood Youth Theatre, performed excerpts of new work ‘My Bit’ which will premiere during Refugee Week.

Belinda McElhinney, Refugee Week Scotland Co-ordinator, said: “This is an exciting festival which is growing every year. With a record number of events taking place across Scotland, it is fantastic to see how many people are keen to be involved. 

“The theme for Refugee Week Scotland is journeys and this subject has inspired some exciting work.  It has also created this great opportunity for us to celebrate Scotland’s cultural diversity and its journey as a place of sanctuary for refugees from all over the world. Scotland is rightly proud of its ability to offer that.”

Highlights of the 2010 programme include:


  • Roadkill: A Tron Theatre and Ankur Productions collaboration, in association with Scottish Refugee Council. A world premiere of this arresting new site specific work about a young woman trafficked to Glasgow. Directed by acclaimed actor/director/musician Cora Bissett. Catch it on its way to great things at the Edinburgh Fringe.


  • My Bit: A new show by Ankur Productions, PANGAA Project and the award winning Ignite theatre explores the joys and fears of living in Glasgow using music and movement.  Performed by a talented and international young cast.


  • Artists in Exile Cabaret: A mixture of poets, musicians, writers and actors from Afghanistan, Iran, Congo, Italy, Angola, Palestine and Scotland come together to enjoy the very best in global sounds and sentiments.


  • Afghan Star: A rare chance to catch this multi-award winning film – and the UK’s Foreign Language entry to the Oscars 2010 - about the Afghan version of Pop Idol in which the contestants risk their  lives to sing.


  • Talking About Jane Austen in Bagdad: Would you brave gun-toting militias for a cut and blow-dry? Meet authors May Witwit and Bee Rowlatt and hear the real story of their unlikely friendship and the plan they hatched to help May escape the bombings of Baghdad.


  • Refugee Week Football Tournament: Scotland might not be taking part in the World Cup, but you can come and cheer on your local five-a-side team in this vibrant celebration of the beautiful game. Participants from Scotland and all over the world – all now living in Glasgow – battle it out to win the trophy.


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For the full listings information go to or contact media officers Clare Harris or Karin Goodwin on 0141 223 7927/07734 030 763



Notes to editors


  1. Refugee Week Scotland is co-ordinated by Scottish Refugee Council.


  1. Refugee Week  is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities. Refugee Week 2010 will take place from June 14 to 20.


  1. 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.


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.