Refugee festival ends – but much more to come

Thank you Refugee Festival Scotland

Refugee Festival Scotland 2016 is now officially over. But it has been a great success at a time when some positivity has been sorely needed – and there are some brilliant bonus events happening over the next few weeks to look out for!

Refugee Festival Scotland kicked off this year by celebrating Scotland’s long history of welcoming refugees, with a screening and exhibition at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library of Lest We Forget (watch the trailer below). This documentary features present-day refugees based in Scotland, from Eritrea to Iran, exploring the stories of Belgian refugees that came to Scotland during the First World War and finding much in common. It’s a vital and a touching story, filmed by BAFTA nominated director Lou McLoughlan. Please stay tuned for a screening near you, as we hope to roll the film out further over the coming months.

Lest We Forget (watch the trailer).

Another great highlight was our Celebrating Solidarity festival launch and family day at the Hidden Gardens, in association with Tramway, which attracted more than 1,200 people.

The screening of poignant documentary Transit Zone (watch the trailer below), which looks at daily life for refugees in the Calais camps, as well as an associated exhibition of photography at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art, was another popular event. And we were delighted to have both artists behind the project, award-winning photographer Iman Tajik and cinematographer Frederik Subei, join us for a Q & A with the audience.

Transit Zone (watch the trailer)

Against the backdrop of the Brexit outcome, we at Scottish Refugee Council are keen to ensure that leaving the EU does not mean leaving behind our legal and moral responsibilities to people who need refugee protection.

The continuing welcome of Scots was never more apparent than at Refuweegee’s energetic flash mob in Royal Exchange Square with Samba Ya Bamba on Saturday, and in the festival’s community programme.

 And a stronger than ever series of Community Celebrations took place in 18 local authorities across Scotland. 

Refuweegee’s energetic flash mob

We continued to celebrate solidarity with refugees throughout the weekend with an abundance of music, dancing, food and even a football tournament between politicians and refugees.

But it doesn’t end there. We still have events taking place into July. And we would love to see you there! 

You can still:

 Visit the Asylum: movements, moments, obligations photo exhibition in Fife (until 31 July)

Attend the Migration, gender and sexuality: negotiating health, wellbeing and belonging seminar at Glasgow University (7 July, 5pm) 

Go to Glasgow North West Framework for Dialogue Group’s 'In Solidarity We Stand' event (free, family friendly, 9 July, 10am-2pm)

Pop along to North East Glasgow Framework for Dialogue’s Celebrating solidarity and diversity through oral history and cultural food (9 July, 5pm) 

If you’re in Falkirk go along to Callendar Park for an Eid celebration and fun day and to find out more about resettlement in the area (9 July, 1-4pm) 

In Motherwell, Best Way Community Development are hosting a New Home event (13 July, 8pm) 

Attend the Art, creativity and the integration of refugees in Scotland cultural seminar in Edinburgh (20 July) 

Go along to the Syrian Supper Club pop-up, presented by Küche, in Govanhill (20 July, 5.30-8pm)

Join the Celebrating Solidarity event for Forth Valley in Stirling on 30 July (details tbc)

Join the Celebrating Solidarity event for Grampian in Aberdeen on 20 August (details tbc)

See the Glasgow Girls show at the Edinburgh Fringe (throughout August) 

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