River City star joins Scotland’s celebration of diversity

Carmen Pieraccini and Haydar Kupeli

Glasgow actress Carmen Pieraccini, best known for her role as Kelly Marie in River City, has joined forces with Scottish Refugee Council to launch Refugee Festival Scotland.

Our annual arts and culture festival begins today and celebrates the many contributions refugees make to life in Scotland, and the welcome they receive here.

For the next three weeks community groups across Scotland, representing more than twenty different nationalities and cultures, will open their doors to share their food and drink, music and poetry, dance, visual art, languages and ideas.

Produced by Scottish Refugee Council, the festival also celebrates the international role Scotland plays in providing protection to people fleeing persecution and human rights abuses.

Carmen Pieraccini said: “Scottish hospitality is famous around the world, and it’s so important that we continue to open our arms to people who need safety and protection.

Everyone deserves the right to shelter and the chance to live their lives free from fear and violence. I think we should all celebrate the fact that our country provides a place of safety to people in need and see this as a positive and something to be proud of.

I’m delighted to be part of Refugee Festival Scotland and I’m really looking forward to the next three weeks of events, finding out more about Scotland’s refugee communities and getting to know the ‘new Scots’ who live and work alongside us.

Sometimes we focus too much on what makes us different from each other but we all live here now. The music, dance, performance and family events during this festival remind us how much we all have in common.”

Refugee Festival Scotland runs from 3 to 21 June and takes place in venues across Scotland. This year’s line-up has something for everyone, from music, theatre, dance and visual arts events to discussions, films, community and family celebrations and even a football tournament.

Refugee Festival Scotland highlights

Visual art: Being Human

Photography and textiles by Iranian refugee artists living in Scotland.

The Arches, Glasgow

4-21 June, open daily from 10am

Free

Performance: Rap of Life (A musical journey)

Three girls who came to Scotland at a young age rap about their lives and their journeys.

Govanhill Baths, Glasgow

18-19 June, 6.30 - 8pm

Free

Family & community: Gorbals international ceilidh

Outdoor ceilidh celebrating the cultural diversity of Glasgow’s Gorbals followed by music and poetry from around the world.

St Francis Hall, Sandyfaulds Sreet, Gorbals

Friday 12 June 5-8pm

Free, tickets not required

 Discussion: The Glasgow Girls: Ten years on

The Glasgow Girls reflect on their campaign to end child detention in Scotland. With music and film.

CCA, Glasgow

Sunday 14 June, 5-7pm

Free but ticketed

Follow us on Twitter @ScotRefCouncil and use our festival hashtag #RefugeeFestScot or become a fan on Facebook: www.facebook.com/refugeefestivalscotland