Refugee Festival Scotland 2015

Being Human launch Zander Campbell
Being Human Launch. Photo by Zander Campbell

Refugee Festival Scotland 2015 – Thank-you for joining us!

Refugee Festival Scotland is over for another year and what a wonderful time we had! Over 110 events took place between 3 – 21 June all across Scotland – with everything from a new refugee film festival in Dundee and dance workshops in Fife, to theatre from Palestine in Glasgow and collaborative visual art in Edinburgh, with many refugee-led community and discussion events in between.

We want to say a HUGE thank-you to all of you who joined us in celebrating a diverse and welcoming Scotland this June, as audience members, funders, volunteers, event organisers or social media supporters. Here we share a few of our staff and volunteers’ festival highlights with you…

Being Human Exhibition Launch

Suzi Maciver, Arts & Cultural Development Officer at Scottish Refugee Council & Festival Co-ordinator: “After having the pleasure of working closely with two brilliant artists for the last few years, Paria Goodarzi and Iman Tajik, it was brilliant to see them exhibiting their art work in a professional venue such as the Arches. Seeing Iman and Paria speaking confidently in public about what they’ve achieved, as part of a beautiful launch event full of dance, music and joy, was a real highlight of the festival for me.”

Glasgow Women’s Library’s ‘Home and Away: Protection’

Nina Murray, Women’s Policy Officer at Scottish Refugee Council: “It was very powerful hearing Remzije Sherifi speak at this event about her experiences of the conflict in Kosovo and work here in Glasgow with Maryhill Integration Network. There was a great atmosphere at the event and I liked the informality of it, with others able to respond to what was being said.”

Welcome Tent

Martha Harding, Training Officer at Scottish Refugee Council: “Really exciting meeting so many new people, seeing people supporting refugees and asylum seekers and being really positive on the streets of Glasgow. I gained so much insight into public perceptions of refugees from people we wouldn’t normally engage with SRC’s work. I think people appreciated gaining understanding about the differences between the experience of refugees and other kinds and migrants.”

Katie Blair, Volunteer Festival Ambassador: “I found that it was a good experience to speak to so many different people about the events and find ones that would suit their interests. It was good to see so many young people, who didn’t know a lot about the process of seeking asylum, were keen to learn more about it.”

LGBT Unity’s Queer Gaylidh Dance Party

Refugee Festival Ambassador: “There was such a great atmosphere, everyone having fun, and there was a real sense of openness and inclusiveness.”

Glasgow Alevi Community’s ‘Hayat Yol’

Refugee Festival Ambassador: “Lovely community event, which felt very family orientated. Great to see work produced by a youth group as part of the festival and the Citizens seemed like a very supportive venue for them.”

With so many events, it’s impossible to mention everything here. So we want to know, what was your highlight of Refugee Festival Scotland 2015? We love to hear from you! Drop us a line on

The official stats are yet to be revealed but we estimate to have reached a wider audience than ever before. Evaluation from Refugee Festival Scotland 2015 will be available on our website from September 2015.


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