Refugee Festival Scotland launches today with a week of events and activities across the country.
The annual arts and culture festival celebrates Scotland’s diverse communities and showcases the talents of people from refugee backgrounds.
More than 80 events will take place online across Scotland over the course of the week leading up to World Refugee Day on June 20. From Syrian cookery classes to joyful choirs, visual art and family days, the festival has something for everyone.
Scottish Refugee Council Chief Executive Sabir Zazai said: “The festival is a chance to meet new people, find out more about each other’s cultures and backgrounds, see how much we all have in common and maybe even make new friends. Everyone is invited. After such a difficult year its more important than ever to find ways to connect and look out for each other. The festival gives audiences the chance to say welcome to people who have recently arrived in Scotland and to be part of a positive movement of friendship and solidarity with people seeking safety here. This year we’re taking the festival online in response to the pandemic but it is still bursting with creativity and designed to uplift and inspire and hopefully offer an antidote to the stresses of the last twelve months.”
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said: “Refugee Festival Scotland is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to hear direct the stories of refugees and people seeking asylum in our country. It provides an opportunity to learn about their art, language, food and culture. It also gives us an understanding of the challenges people face and to recognise the skills, knowledge and strength they carry with them. This year’s virtual programme is accessible wherever you live and I would encourage everyone to explore the events on offer.”
The festival runs from 14 – 20 June 2021. Full programme listings here: www.refugeefestivalscotland.co.uk