On 16th May, Refugee Week Coordinator Lara Deffense and Producer Dalia Al-Dujaili gave an online information session and offered space for a Q+A from organisations and individuals running their own Refugee Week events. Below, you can find a summary of the session, answers to helpful questions asked, and all the relevant resources shared.
What is Refugee Week?
Refugee Week is the world’s largest arts and culture festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Founded in the UK in 1998 and held every year around World Refugee Day on the 20 June, this year will be the UK’s 25th anniversary!
Through a programme of arts, cultural, sports and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns, Refugee Week enables people from different backgrounds to connect beyond labels, as well as encouraging understanding of why people are displaced, and the challenges they face when seeking safety. Refugee Week is a platform for people who have sought safety in the UK to share their experiences, perspectives and creative work on their own terms.
Refugee Week’s vision is for refugees and asylum seekers to be able to live safely within inclusive and resilient communities, where they can continue to make a valuable contribution.
Refugee Week is an umbrella festival, and anyone can get involved by holding or joining an event or activity. Refugee Week events happen in all kinds of different spaces and range from arts festivals, exhibitions, film screenings and museum tours to football tournaments, public talks and activities in schools. Refugee Week is a partnership project coordinated and managed by Counterpoints Arts.
What’s in the Event Organiser Pack?
As we walked our guests through the Event Organiser pack, we:
- Unpacked the theme of Compassion
- Outlined three key ways to take part: On your Doorstep, Simple Acts, and Hold an Event
- Outlined the things to consider when holding an event
- Shared how to download our logos and access free materials from our shop
What are Simple Acts and how can you get involved?
We told guests about our Simple Acts campaign and we unpacked: Grow Your Compassion, Watch a Film, and Use Your Platform.
What’s in the Schools and Children’s Pack?
We also spoke through the Schools and Children’s Pack, where we:
- Highlighted the Day of Welcome on 16th June 2023 by Schools of Sanctuary; find out more here
- Spoke through ideas inspired by Simple Acts
- Highlighted films and books about displacement to watch, curated especially for young people
- Directed to resources and packs from our friends and partners such as British Red Cross, Kazzum Arts, Phoenix Group, Brighter Futures, Ground Work and more.
How to use the social media toolkit
We then showed guests how to access and use the Social Media Toolkit, which includes:
- Suggested copy for various social media platforms
- Hashtags and handles
- About this year’s artwork by Murugiah designed in collaboration with Compass Collective
- Images, videos and assets to download of Murugiah’s designs, Simple Acts illustrations, logos, and Refugee Week social media templates; find them all at the Google Drive here
- Ordering free postcards and posters from our shop
How to submit your event
We showed guests how to submit their Refugee Week 2023 calendar once it was ready to go live. Submit your event via this form here, and check our calendar here. Once we approve your event, it will be live to view on our website!
Submit your Event
What’s On Calendar
Our new shop
We also showed everyone our updated shop which includes new merch and apparel with this year’s Compassion artwork by Murugiah, with children’s sizes for the first time ever!
What’s the deadline to submit an event on the form?
There is none! We accept events up until the end of Refugee Week, and even beyond!
Is it possible to edit event details after submitting an event?
Yes! Edit your event here.
Is there a way to submit suggestions for being promoted in any Refugee Week newsletters?
Yes, when you submit your event to the calendar, we will be picking a few events as they are submitted to us to highlight via our newsletter (subscribe in the footer of our website) and social media.
Do events have to be in the UK?
No, we really encourage people to set up Refugee Weeks in their home countries! If you’d like support with setting up Refugee Week outside of the UK please contact email@example.com.
Even if our event falls outside the actual week, can it still be a RW event / can we use logos / branding etc?
Of course! We are not strict about how or when our branding assets are used, as long as your event and/or organisation share our Core Values. We encourage you to to carry on holding events beyond simply Refugee Week, which this year is being held 19th-25th June.
If we hashtag Refugee Week, will you reshare on your stories?
Yes, we try our best to reshare posts tagged with Refugee Week hashtags, which are #RefugeeWeek, #SimpleActs and #CompassionIntoAction.
Are there special permissions needed to show films in public?
Yes, for some films you need permissions. For the films listed in our School’s Pack, you don’t need permission to show them in class or at home, but you won’t be able to hold public screenings. There are some films which you can screen for public events, for example, Matar by Hassan Akkad. Just fill out this form here. For more film recommendations please visit: https://refugeeweek.org.uk/simple-acts/watch-a-film/
Do I need special permissions to share our event or can I do this easily from your website?
No! All you need to do is fill out this form.
Do you have any particular examples of online events or social media campaigns that have worked well in the past that we can draw on for inspiration?
Examples of Social Media campaigns and accounts that have worked really well are:
Plus countless others!
We also use Refugee Week’s Instagram channel to share Q+A’s and interviews with people like Heidi Sarah Affi from Bees and Refugees, and James Beasanvalle from the Metro, and we take inspiration from the Simple Acts in order to curate content for social media.
Do we know the theme for next year?
Not yet, we usually start doing mind mapping and consultation for the themes in the Autumn period and announce around November.
Is Refugee Week the same dates every year?
No, Refugee Week is always celebrated around World Refugee Day, the 20th June, which is the same every year. That means we choose whichever full week, Monday to Sunday, lands around the 20th June. This year, it is 19th-25th June 2023.
Our guests also had many amazing events which they needed support with. If you know ways you can support any of these requests, let them know! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the relevant organisations email.
Jay Sullivan from Race Equality Network: We’re currently seeking an expert on the borders bill to speak at a webinar Race Equality Network are organising, it sounds like Natakallam is a great lead, but if anyone is interested in working in partnership with REN on this don’t hesitate to reach out.
Bethany Ann McDonald from Blank Cheque: If anyone is organising a film event, my company has a short film made with refugee & migrant women ‘The Women Inside’ (10mins) which won the Jury Award at London Independent Film Festival last month and we’d be happy to offer it. (the trailer can be seen at www.blankcheque.org)
Anita from Seenaryo: We create participatory theatre with under-served communities in Lebanon & Jordan. Our Head of Arts will be in London during refugee week and might be able to get involved.
Seb Aguirre from ice&fire theatre: I’m holding a queer refugee festival on 24th June.
Amala Education: We also work with young people- our charity works with refugee and displaced youth in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya and Amman, Jordan. (Some other parallels – I am Hackney based and some of our students perform in choirs!). https://www.amalaeducation.org/support-our-work/#fundraising – if you have any questions about our work please drop me an email.
Jamie Balfour-Paul from Magic for Smiles: Anyone who wants a humanitarian magic show (as a tool for trauma relief for refugees) for kids and families during their event in Refugee Week get in touch.
Eleanor Jacob from Seenaryo: I’m with Seenaryo and we’ve produced a children’s book called The Queendom of Colours, it’s set in a refugee camp and is bilingual in English and Arabic. You can find out more on our website: seenaryo.org/shop – we’d love to donate the book to libraries and refugee organisation. Please get in touch for more info!
New Routes: Did anyone find any relevant Virtual Reality content about the Refugee experience? Anyone interested please email me, to discuss/plan for next year
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