Are you an artist, illustrator, graphic designer, photographer, filmmaker, or collective? For Refugee Week’s 25th anniversary, we are commissioning a creative (or creatives) with a refugee or asylum-seeking background to create the main artwork/design for Refugee Week 2023. [We are open to artists working in collaboration with other artists/ agencies/ groups with lived experience- full criteria below]

For Refugee Week UK’s 25th anniversary we are inviting everyone to celebrate what compassion looks like in action. We believe that together we can create a shared understanding of compassion to ensure we are extending it widely to all. “Our task must be to free ourselves – by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”- Albert Einstein. You can read more about the 2023 theme of Compassion here

This open call, produced by Counterpoints Arts, will commission the main artwork/ design for the visual identity of the 2023 edition of the festival. The final design will be shared across our social media channels (and by our UK and international network partners too). We will also use the artwork/ design to create promotional materials for the festival (including e.g. posters, postcards, flyers, etc) as well as additional income-generating merchandise for the festival (such as e.g. T-shirts, etc).

Previous creative commissions from Counterpoints Arts for Refugee Week UK include: Healing by Nima Javan; Me, You and Those Who Came Before by Jillian Edelstein; We Cannot Walk Alone by Misan Harriman, Shared Futures Different Pasts, Imagine by Pal Hansen, Our Shared Future by BCMH, 100% British (Made by Refugees) by BCMH and many more.

Background Information

About Refugee Week
Refugee Week is a growing international movement that celebrates the contributions, creativity, and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. It takes place annually around World Refugee Day on 20 June. Refugee Week is an umbrella festival, with hundreds of organisations, groups, and individuals holding events across the country every year. 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 also a platform for people who have sought safety in the UK to share their experiences, perspectives, and creative work on their own terms.

About Counterpoints Arts
Counterpoints Arts is a leading national organisation in the field of arts, migration, and cultural change. Its mission is to support and produce the arts by and about migrants and refugees, seeking to ensure that their contributions are recognised and welcomed within British arts, history, and culture. Since being set up in 2012, Counterpoints Arts has developed a trusted network of partners and collaborators from across different sectors, and has supported hundreds of artists, organisations, and communities to develop new work, skills, and connections.

Criteria & Details

What we are looking for

  • An artist or collective to create a new artwork in response to the Refugee Week 2023 theme of “compassion”. This will be used for, but not limited to: A3 posters, postcards, and digital assets (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, website posts, and banners) to lead the marketing campaign for the festival and generate assets to be used by anyone in the network (UK and globally) in print and digitally
  • An individual or collective with lived experience of refugee and/ or asylum-seeking background [We are open to artists working in collaboration with other artists/ agencies/ groups with lived experience]
  • An individual/ collective with a flexible and collaborative approach
  • An individual/ collective who is open to further collaboration including, but not limited, to e.g. speaking to the media, speaking at events, exploring further creative opportunities, creating social media content, behind-the-scenes footage, etc
  • This opportunity is open to both emerging and established creatives. It is not necessary to have a formal arts education but evidence of previous artistic work is required on this occasion
  • We accept artists working in any medium (including photography and film stills for example)
  • Must be UK based

Fee & Timeline:

What we will offer:

  • Successful applicants will receive payment of £2,000 to produce the visual identity for Refugee Week [this fee will need to cover professional fees, expenses and materials needed]
  • The successful artist will be supported by our long-term graphic design collaborator BCMH
  • Opportunities for platforming across Refugee Week channels and Counterpoints Arts channel (as well as identifying further opportunities e.g. media)
  • Possibility of hot-desking at Counterpoints Arts office when and if required
  • People who do not have the right to work are welcome to apply even if they are only able to receive expenses rather than payments.


Mid Jan: Open Call launched
10th Feb: Deadline for expressions of interest
Late Feb: Artist selection and contracting
Late Feb- March: Artwork creation and assets finalised
Early April- Mid April: Launch of final artwork and promotional campaign begins
June: Refugee Week

How to apply:

Submit your expression of interest through this form. The form will ask for the following information:

  1. A short biography of yourself including why you are interested in applying and how you meet the criteria (250-500 words)
  2. A short response to the theme of Compassion and how you might approach the commission (250-500 words)
  3. Link to a portfolio of your work (or links to previous work including website and social media if applicable)
  4. Confirmation of availability to create artwork in the timeline specified

You can submit your expression of interest in writing, video recording, or audio recording.

If you need this form in a different format or would like to discuss any access needs, or have any questions, please get in touch with Lara on


Please submit your expression of interest by Friday 10th February 2023, 23:59 by completing this form here

Thank you for your time and energy in sharing and submitting!