Refugee Week is back in person for 2022, and more than 10 city-wide festivals are taking place in England, with over 120 events planned for Refugee Festival Scotland.
Refugee Week Wales events are being added to the Celebrating Home website here.
Below are some of the festivals happening for Refugee Week in England, with a very small selection of the events taking place for each one!
If you’re involved in a city-wide programmme that’s not listed below, do let us know. For a full list of what’s on, see our events page, or follow the links below to see the festivals’ full programmes.
Starting North and heading South, here we go…
REFUGEE WEEK SUNDERLAND
Coordinated by Friends of the Drop In for Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Sunderland, the theme of ‘Healing’ is celebrated with over 10 events including a walk of sanctuary, cricket, cooking events and a concert of songs written by local people about stories of sanctuary in Sunderland. Full programme here.
Walk of Sanctuary, 20 June 9.30am – 4pm, Sunderland Minster
Join for all or part of the walk, and enjoy a picnic at 1.30pm. at Barnes Park.
Stories of Sanctuary Concert, 25 June, 7pm, Sunderland College Arts Academy
Concert celebrating the diverse stories of sanctuary in Sunderland. with original songs from across the North East as well as new Sunderland stories. Featuring a new community choir and the musicians of the Citizen Songwriters project, along with Raghad Haddad a viola player from the National Syrian Orchestra. By Citizen Songwriters.
BRADFORD REFUGEE WEEK
This year is the biggest Bradford Refugee Week yet, with 12 local groups taking part and activities spread across the entire District. Full programme here.
Large scale artwork by children, all week, Piece Hall Yard/ Emmaus back windows, Bradford
Vanessa D’Costa has worked alongside refugee children to produce a large scale work on the theme of Healing. Lilycroft Primary is a School of Sanctuary – this exhibition is the result of a whole school project for Refugee Week 2022 on Healing.
Displace Yourself Theatre Creative wellbeing session, 22 June, 5pm-8pm, Kala Sangam, Bradford Relaxation, music, movement, laughter, games and food. No experience needed, and everyone is welcome! Women only Relax 5pm, food at 6pm, creative session open to all from 6.30pm.
Local Authority of Sanctuary, 24 June, 10am – 11.30am, City Hall, Bradford
Celebrate Bradford’s Local Authority of Sanctuary status with the Lord Mayor in style in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Join Bradford Council working with partners to ensure that everyone is welcome including all refugees and asylum seekers. Refreshments and all welcome.
Great Get Together, 25 June, 12pm – 3pm Peel Park, Bradford
A fun filled feast of creativity, sport, games, music and larks – bring friends.
REFUGEE WEEK PRESTON
Events inspired by the theme of ‘Healing’ including a cookalong, yoga, community picnic, film screening and music and arts event. By Preston City of Sanctuary in partnership with Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council and University of Central Lancashire. Full programme here.
Wellbeing in the Park, 18 June, 1pm (walk) and 3pm (picnic), Avenham Park, Derby
A walk and picnic in Avenham Park, celebrating Healing through exercise and the outdoors. Fun activities for all ages include parachute, ballgames and frisbee.
Sanctuary Cookalongs Community Meal and Networking, 20 June, 1pm – 2pm, St Cuthbert’s Church, Derby
Sanctuary seekers and supporters from Sanctuary Cookalongs will be showcasing their dishes and expertise. This event will provide an opportunity to meet and socialise over food and is intended to create both cultural learning and a promote a sense of warmth across communities. Lunch is free for sanctuary seekers, donations welcome from other guests.
SHEFFIELD: MIGRATION MATTERS FESTIVAL
The UK’s largest Refugee Week festival returns for 2022, with a programme of 50 events. Line-up includes Lemn Sissay, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Les Amazones d’Afriques, Seyed Ali Jaberi & The Hamdel Ensemble, Afla Sackey & Afrik Bawantu and Fehdah. Full programme here.
My Name is Why by Lemn Sissay, 18 June, 8pm – 8.30pm, The Montgomery Theatre, Sheffield
Acclaimed British author Lemn Sissay OBE shares his rollercoaster life story and reads powerful extracts from his Sunday Times best-selling memoir, My Name is Why. Features a set by Sarah Orola. By Migration Matters Festival.
Little Bean Reads, 小豆釘 小故事, 19 June, 1pm – 2.30pm, The Montgomery Theatre, Sheffield
What is home? Where is home? An interactive session for families with stories about migration, home, challenges, courage, love and more, by the first and only English-Cantonese bilingual family theatre company in the UK. Part of Migration Matters Festival
Les Amazones d’Afrique, 20 June, 7.30pm – 10pm, The Leadmill, Sheffield
Founded by three Malian music stars and social change activists in 2014, this collective has since expanded to involve many female artists from across Africa and the diaspora. Credited with producing one of Barack Obama’s favourite songs. Supported by Mim Suleiman. By Migration Matters Festival.
Discovering Our Own Stories by Digging Where We Stand, 22 June, 6pm – 7.30pm, Makerspace at Portland Works, Sheffield
What can the archives tell us about our racial history? In this free in-person event, Désirée Reynolds, Cheryl Bailey, Sile Sibanda, Dr Rosie Knight and Ishah Jawaid discuss their different experiences of discovering Black and marginalised voices in the archives, share some of the fascinating stories that have emerged, and highlight the importance of digging where you stand. Part of Migration Matters Festival
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, 22 June, 8pm – 10.30pm, Foundry, UoS Students’ Union, Sheffield
Concert by musician Seun Kuti, the youngest son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. Sean Kuti has spent most of his life preserving and extending his father’s political and musical legacy as the leader of his father’s former band Egypt 80. By Migration Matters Festival and La Rumba, with support from MYNA.
REFUGEE WEEK CALDERDALE
Celebrating how people who have found sanctuary in Calderdale have helped make it a vibrant and diverse borough. Events include exhibitions, football, awareness-raising events and a Great Walk Together, and Wainhouse Tower will be lit up orange all week. Full programme here.
St Augustine’s Open Day, 23 June, St Augustine’s Centre, Halifax
Come and find out more about what St. Augustine’s do and enjoy delicious food from around the world! Drop-in activities, tours, music, opportunities to get involved.
Great Walk Together, 25 June, 1-3pm, Calder Holmes Park, Hebden Bridge
Calderdale Valley of Sanctuary are holding a community picnic and walk, after which they will join the Hebden Bridge Great Get Together.
REFUGEE WEEK DERBY
At least 19 events are planned in Derby including with Derby Libraries, Derby Cathedral, Derby Book Festival and Artcore. Coordinated by Derby City of Sanctuary. Full programme here.
Illumination of Derby Council House, throughout Refugee Week
The Council House will be lit up every evening, a different colour Monday to Friday and the same colour Saturday and Sunday.
Exhibition of Painting and Drawing, Bosnia and Herzegovina Centre, throughout Refugee Week
Exhibition by people who are, or were, refugees. An auction of the pieces is planned at the end of the week.
Markeaton Run with Refugees, 25 June, meet at Orangery Café 9am, Derby
Join several hundred others from the Park Run family and people with experience of displacement for a 5km amble or sprint around the wonderful park scenery.
NOTTINGHAM REFUGEE WEEK
Nottingham Refugee Week is an annual cultural festival that unites communities and organisations across the city. It celebrates the culture of sanctuary that has been built in Nottingham, and is an act of welcome, a gesture of solidarity and a shared celebration with people who have sought refuge here. The 2022 programme comprises over 20 events inspired by the theme of Healing. Full programme here.
Healing, Creativity and Kindness at the National Justice Museum, Nottingham. 18-24 June, Nottingham
Interactive creative activities including pop-up badge making, adding to a ‘quilt of kindness’, and bread sculpture, plus a display of a project run with local schools, using suitcases to explore the emotional and physical ‘luggage’ that children of immigration bring with them. By National Justice Museum.
Cooking and Eating Together, 20 June, 5.30pm – 7.30pm, 19-21 Lister Gate, Nottingham
A Cooking and Eating Together social night and celebration. Get a copy of the cookbook, be part of ‘The Sharing Table’ and learn something new together. By Refugee Roots.
Photomontage Workshop with artist Ismail Khokon, New Art Exchange, 22 June, 10am – 4pm, Nottingham
Free, drop-in workshop with artist Ismail Khokon, teaching you how to create a photomontage with collage materials. The photomontage will be inspired by ideas around healing, sharing stories, connecting with memories, and celebrating moments. At the end of the day your creations will be displayed in an exhibition for everyone to see! By New Art Exchange.
NORWICH REFUGEE WEEK
Programme includes a film screening, reading of a novel with a live folk band and launch party at Norwich Arts Centre. Full programme here.
Film screening: Flee, 20 June, 8.30pm, Cinema City, Norwich
In this genre-defying documentary, Amin recalls fleeing Afghanistan to start his new life in Denmark. We see him and long-time friend (and filmmaker, Jonas Poher Rasmussen,) in conversation as animated characters, bringing themselves, their homes, and even the recording equipment into the frame. Part of Norwich Refugee Week.
Amarantha Live, 25 June, 5pm – 6.30pm, Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, Norwich Amarantha is a fantasy novel with music for children and adults. Featuring a young female protagonist immersing herself in a foreign culture, it tackles themes of migration and dealing with PTSD. The event will be a reading of short excerpts from the novel alternated with music from the novel’s soundtrack, performed by a live folk band. Part of Norwich Refugee Week.
Norwich: A Mile in My Shoes, 25 June, 12pm – 5pm, Norwich Theatre Playhouse, Norwich
The Empathy Museum’s interactive exhibition allows you to embark on a physical and empathic journey, to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes – literally. In this special version of A Mile in My Shoes visitors can borrow a pair of shoes belonging to a refugee or migrant and take a walk while listening to a first-hand story of their life. Part of Norwich Refugee Week.
BIRMINGHAM REFUGEE WEEK
Presented by Celebrating Sanctuary, Birmingham Refugee Week Festival celebrates 20 years with a programme including music, exhibitions, community events and celebration. Full programme here.
Refugee Week Launch: We are Birmingham 2022 – Self Portraits Exhibition, 18 June, 12pm – 1pm, Library of Birmingham
Join Birmingham Refugee Week for the start of Refugee Week 2022 and celebrate the festival’s 20th Anniversary. With self-portraits of people of all backgrounds from across the city, in the style of Brian Homer’s 1979 ‘Handsworth Self Portrait’ project, and spoken word from Ahmed Magare and Stories of Hope and Home, and music from Niwel Tsumbu & Didier Kisala.
Refugee Week Solidarity Walk, 18 June, 11.15am, St Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham
Members of The Birmingham Refugee Week Network and City of Sanctuary invite you to join a walk from St Philips Cathedral to the Library of Birmingham for the launch of Refugee Week.
Birmingham Refugee Week Healing Party, 23 June, 4pm – 7pm, Centrala, Birmingham
Celebrate Refugee Week with dance, song, spoken word, music and food, with performances from Birmingham’s varied communities that want to share their culture and come together to showcase the city’s brilliant diversity through ‘healing and unity’. By Near Neighbours, Birmingham City Council and Centrala.
Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham Refugee Week Festival in partnership with MAC, 25 June, 1pm – 4.30pm, Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham
An afternoon of music with performances by musicians from around the world including Seikou Susso (Gambia), Muha (Ukraine, Latvia, UK), Los Musicos (Colombia), Didier Kisala & The Redeemed (DRCongo). By Celebrating Sanctuary in partnership with MAC.
REFUGEE WEEK IN OXFORD AND READING
More than 20 events are taking place in Oxford and Reading for Refugee Week 2022, including exhibitions, film screenings, a guided tour, a pop-up marketplace and a quilt making workshop. Full programme here.
Maya Youssef: Qanun Performance, 25 June, 7 – 8pm, Magdalen College School, Oxford
Maya Youssef is hailed as ‘queen of the qanun,’ the 78-stringed Middle Eastern plucked zither. Her intense and thoughtful music is rooted in the Arabic classical tradition but forges pathways into jazz, Western classical and flamenco styles.
Reading Community Football Cup Tournament, 25 June 10am – 2pm, University of Reading
Bringing together Berkshire’s only refugee football team, Sanctuary Strikers Football Club, along with several guest teams, the competition aims to promote unity and integration through the international language of football.
Of Ordinary Things – Exhibition, 1 April – 24 September, Museum of Oxford
Iraqi Women in Oxfordshire share their life stories through art. By Iraqi Women Art and War (IWAW)
BRISTOL REFUGEE FESTIVAL
Live events across the city to suit all tastes and ages including peace feasts, dance workshops, ‘Our City Cup’ football tournament, and more. The festival runs 06-26 June with the theme ‘Healing Through Community’, and seeks to encourage deeper community understanding and connection. Full programme here.
Wide Eyes : Reclaiming our Communities, 14-25 June, Victoria Methodist Church, Bristol
Free Exhibition by Bristol Refugee Artists Collective / UWE Art & Design Foundation students, with workshops throughout the week including painting, mural-making and writing about art.
Migrateful Sudanese Cookery Class with Chef Negla, June 15, 6.15pm – 8.45pm, Coexist Kitchen, Bristol
A laid-back, homestyle cookery experience where you can learn how to make and enjoy delicious, authentic Sudanese recipes with a community of people supporting migrant and refugee chefs in their journey towards integration.
Crossings: Community and Refuge, A British Museum Spotlight Loan, 18 June – 18 September, M Shed, Bristol Museums
A cross made from the remnants of a refugee boat wrecked near the Italian island of Lampedusa is displayed alongside 12 tiny boats from Syrian-born artist, Issam Kourbaj’s series ‘Dark Water, Burning World’ and a series of audio interviews commissioned by M Shed from six refugees and migrants living in Bristol today.
Our City Cup Football Tournament, 25 June, 10am – 4pm
Our City Community Cup is back for 2022, and looks forward to welcoming football teams from around Bristol and beyond.
REFUGEE WEEK IN LONDON
Concerts, comedy, film, installations, creative workshops, family activities and more at venues across the city including Southbank Centre, BFI, V&A, Barbican and Union Chapel.
Simple As Water (15) + Panel Discussion, 20 June, 6pm, Barbican, London
Filmed over the course of five years in five countries including Turkey, Greece, Germany, Syria and the US, Megan Mylan’s documentary reifies the universal importance of family. By Barbican in collaboration with the UNHCR. Search for all London events here.
Alter by Distanced Assemblage, 21-26 June (with workshops throughout the week), Southbank Centre, London
Seven interactive, movable sculptures fill Southbank Centre spaces with sound and colour, representing stories of migration. The sculptures are designed to be manoeuvred by both performers and the audience. Born in Iran and Venezuela respectively, artists Paria Goodarzi and Francisco Llinas Casas draw inspiration from lived experiences of migration and diaspora. By Southbank Centre and Counterpoints Arts.
Celebrating Sanctuary – Lewisham Refugee Week Festival, 25 June, 1pm – 5.30pm, Horniman Museum and Gardens, London
London Mini-festival by a partnership of local community organisations in partnership with Refugee Week and We Are Lewisham, London Borough of Culture 2022, to mark Lewisham’s status as the UK’s first Borough of Sanctuary. The day is curated by Create Without Borders in collaboration with Horniman Museum and partners.
Tales from the Congo Basin, 26 June, 12.30pm, Southbank Centre, London
Gently explore climate change and its links to colonialism, race and migration in an interactive family session with storyteller and musician Emmanuela Yogolelo. By Counterpoints Arts and Southbank Centre.
Refugee Week Festival 2022 by Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, 26 June from 10am, Gunnersbury Park, London
Family friendly festival showcasing a variety of music and dance from Afghanistan and other parts of Central Asian culture, featuring Faiz Karizi, Afghanistan’s ‘King of Folklore Music’ and Delsa, an London based opera singer who also works as an NHS doctor. By Afghanistan and Central Asian Association.
Awate Presents: About Us! 25 June, 7,45pm, Southbank Centre, London
Music and spoken word by artists from around the world, curated by Awate, an Eritrean-born, Camden-raised wordsmith, poet, rapper, producer and activist. The line up includes DJ TrYb and live performances from Isatta Sheriff, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Susanne Xin and Kofi Stone. You can also join Awate to share your own creative work at one of two Artists’ Scratch Showcase sessions on Sunday 26 June, produced with TekstLab, Oslo. By Counterpoints Arts and Southbank Centre.
Under the Same Sun: Singing Our Lives, 26 June, 5pm, Union Chapel, London
The Singing Our Lives project brings together people from local UK and refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds to compose and perform new music together. Under the Same Sun features hundreds of performers onstage, hosted by Jumoké Fashola, to celebrate the Refugee Week theme of ‘Healing’ through music and song. By Together Productions in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Union Chapel, with support from the Arts Council England.
No Direction Home, 26 June, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre, London
Host Ola Labib introduces a night of stand-up comedy headlined by Fatiha El-Ghorri. The No Direction Home comedy collective, produced by Counterpoints Arts, supports people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to learn the skills of stand-up. By Counterpoints Arts and Southbank Centre.
HASTINGS AND ST LEONARDS
A range of arts and community events and activities coordinated by The Refugee Buddy Project. Full programme here.
Mr Gay Syria – Film Screening, 18 June, 4.30pm – 9pm, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery
Mr. Gay Syria follows two gay Syrian refugees who are trying to rebuild their lives. Film screening followed by a discussion, with Syrian food, for PRIDE month and Refugee Week. By The Refugee Buddy Project: Hastings, Rother and Wealden together with Hastings Museum and Art Gallery.
Where are you Really From?, 18 June – 24 July, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery
An exhibition of patchwork pieces by local people from migrant and refugee backgrounds and their supporters. By collaboration Hastings Museum and Art Gallery and The Refugee Buddy Project, supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the National Lottery Community Fund.
Sanctuary Festival 2022, 26 June, 12pm – 7pm, Hastings Museum and Arts Gallery
Enjoy a mix of live music from some of Hastings’ best musicians, spoken word poets, talks, workshops, food and fun for kids. By Hastings Supports Refugees and Hastings Community of Sanctuary.
REFUGEE WEEK BRIGHTON
Every year during national Refugee Week, Brighton and Hove celebrates how people who have found sanctuary there have helped make it an exciting, vibrant and diverse city.
Our Common Threads, 22 and 23 June, various times, Jubilee Library, Brighton
Our Common Threads considers what we might learn from people on the move, through language, embroidery, clothing, and everyday items. Sewing the words of asylum seekers, former refugees, advocates and campaigners on their clothes, artist Bern O’Donoghue reflects on Healing, the theme of Refugee Week 2022. By Brighton & Hove Libraries Services.
Film screening: Flee, 22 June, 6pm – 9.30pm, Fabrica, Brighton
Screening of Flee, a vividly animated documentary that tells the story of Amin Nawabi recalling his painful and extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan to Denmark. By Fabrica.
Refugee Week 2022 celebration: 25 June, 12pm – 4pm, Jubilee Library, Brighton
Music and food from around the world, featuring music from Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Kurdish/ Alevi music. By Hopeful Solidarities, Best Foot Music and Brighton & Hove Library Services.
Mohand & Peter, 23 June and 24 June, 7.30pm, St Mary’s Church, Brighton
Psychedelight’s acclaimed show will whisk you with humour and visual poetry on a road trip to Sudan.
Football festival and family fun day at Brickfield Sports Centre on 18 June