Selected highlights of the virtual events happening for Refugee Week 2020, 15-21 June. Visit our events page for the full programme.




ladyleshurr-hires-3830-1-1024x962The Positive Power of Football Chants: New Fan Song with Lady Leshurr, June 19, 5.30 – 7.30pm
Counterpoints Arts

Lady Leshurr, rapper and co-host of ITV2’s ‘Don’t Hate the Playaz’, launches a specially commissioned track written in collaboration with football fans, celebrating the diversity of football. The launch will be followed by a discussion bringing together fans, artists and former players. Part of Counterpoints Arts’ PopChange project. More details


Manchester International Roots OrchestraManchester International Roots Orchestra, video launched June 14
Community Arts NorthWest
A performance recorded during lockdown by a unique ensemble of musicians with roots from across the world, including artists from refugee backgrounds. More details


Music in InternmentMusic in Internment 17 June, 6 – 7pm
Insiders/Outsiders Festival

Norbert Meyn gives a talk and recital about ‘What a Life!’, a satirical revue devised by internees and held in Douglas on the Isle of Man in 1940. Meyn will be joined by Sue Lukes, founder of Music in Detention, to talk about the creative outputs of people held in UK detention centres today. More details


Nyaruach-blue-1024x6831Nyaruach – Singing Resilience, June 18, 7 – 7.30pm
Counterpoints Arts with Southbank Centre

Southern Sudan-born singer Nyaruach is joined by her hip-hop artist brother, Emmanuel Jal, for music and conversation. Nyaruach has left Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp behind and is currently seeking asylum in the UK. More details


tardastTardast, June 18, 8 – 9pm
Counterpoints Arts with Southbank Centre

Performance by Liverpool-based Iranian grime MC Tardast, who sought asylum in the UK in 2014 and is co-founder of Manteq, a record label which supports artists with experience of displacement. More details


Calais-No-Events-No-Tents-Fundraiser-jpg2No events = No Tents, 18 June, 7 – 10pm
Global Jamming and Collective Aid

A livestream of eclectic music and poetry from Calais and beyond, to raise awareness of the situation of refugees in France and funds for Collective Aid. Collective Aid usually salvages tents from festivals to provide shelter for people in Calais, but has been unable to do so this year due to Covid-19. More details


Live from the IncubatorLive From The Incubator, 18 June, 8 – 10pm
Otis Mensah & Friends, Migration Matters Festival

Spoken word and music curated by Otis Mensah, the first hip-hop artist to be awarded a poet laureate title in the UK. Live performances from Lucy DK, K.ZIA and Otis Mensah, as well as a live show and conversation with headliner Lando Chill. More details


Birmingham refugee weekCommissions for Birmingham Refugee Week, throughout the week
Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham
Ten special commissions for Refugee Week 2020 on the theme of ‘Imagine’, by musicians with roots in DR Congo, Zimbabwe, Guinea Bissau, Kurdistan , Somalia and beyond.  More details


The sounds of hospitalityThe Sounds of Hospitality, throughout the week
Nottingham Refugee Week
A documentary following six musicians from Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan and Iran  in the Netherlands, the UK and Spain. Through their melodies and stories, the musicians draw attention to their cultures, lives in their host countries and turbulent history of migration. More details




imagine-anthologyImagine Anthology launch, 17 June, 7pm
Counterpoints Arts

Author panel to launch the Imagine Anthology, a digital collection on the theme of ‘Imagine’ commissioned by Counterpoints Arts for Refugee Week 2020. The anthology features Mohsin Hamid, Edmund de Waal, Dina Nayeri and Rupi Kaur alongside emerging voices with lived experience of displacement. More details


The Hum of Words Beneath Our FeatThe Hum of Words Beneath Our Feet: A Poetry Show from Change the Word,  17 June 6 – 6.30pm
Good Chance Theatre for Migration Matters Festival
A global poetry show featuring Good Chance’s Change the Word collectives from Sheffield and Coventry, who are new poets with roots in DRC, Ethiopia, Guyana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Pakistan, Sudan and the UK. More details


boy-two-hearts‘The Boy With Two Hearts’ book launch, 17 June, 4 – 5pm
University of South Wales

Hamed Amiri, author of A Boy with Two Hearts, talks to Naomi Preston about his experience of being a refugee, and how his personal experiences of displacement and grief became the catalysts for his book. More details


Together ApartTogether/ Apart, throughout the week
Stories & Supper

Stories & Supper share poems and stories they have been writing in lockdown, starting with stories about mangoes and brooches, shawls and sweet treats and ending with the premiere of a new polyvocal poem, Together/Apart, written with award-winning spoken word artist Joelle Taylor. Those without internet access can order a poem postcard. More details


The World Is for EveryoneThe World Is for Everyone – podcast with Eve Makis, throughout the week
Nottingham Refugee Week

Writer Eve Makis explores how grassroots projects can empower and bring about lasting social change in a new podcast for Refugee Week. The podcast focuses on Pamoja Women Together, a group of refugee, asylum-seeking and irregular migrant women in Nottingham, and a cultural outreach programme that helped them produce the first anthology of writing by refugee women. More details




NDH Mo OmarNo Direction Home Stand-up Comedy, 16 and 21 June, 8pm
Counterpoints Arts and STAR/ Southbank Centre

Stand-up comedy from the No Direction Home collective of comics from refugee and migrant backgrounds.

16 June: Headlined by Somali-born, Cardiff-raised rising comedy star Mo Omar. By Counterpoints Arts and Student Action for Refugees. More details

21 June: Headlined by Nish Kumar. By Counterpoints Arts and Southbank Centre. More details


Where-We-Began-SBC-TheatreWhere We Began + Q&A, 16 and 18 June 9 – 9.45pm
SBC Theatre, part of Coventry Welcomes

When every citizen is ordered to return to their place of birth, ‘Where We Began’ examines where we could end up. The UK’s first Theatre Company of Sanctuary, Stand and Be Counted present a wild and vivid vision of the future, combining storytelling, movement and live music. Details: 16th and 18th


Here & Q&AHere + Q&A, 17 June, 8.30 – 10.30pm
A Curious Monkey & Northern Stage co-production in association with Derby Theatre, part of Migration Matters Festival

A new play by Lindsay Rodden about finding sanctuary in the unlikeliest of places. This Zoom reading with visuals and music follows the cancellation of the play’s planned premier on 19 March due to lockdown. More details


AroseArose: Screening + Q&A, 17 June 7 – 8pm and 20 June, 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Ellen Hathaway Dance Company

Through an honest and touching audio recording, Lucy Boulos shares with us her compelling story as she participates in a national revolution. Join an online sharing of Ellen Hathaway Dance Company’s ‘Arose’ and a conversation with Ellen Hathaway Dance Company’s Lebanese Creative Consultant Lucy Boulos and Dance Artists Joseph Delaney & Kathryn Marshall. Details: 17th and 20th


Lifting the lidLifting the Lid on Immigration Detention, 17 June, 8 – 9.30pm
Ben & Jerry’s and Ice and Fire

A live stream of Ice and Fire’s ‘Detention Dialogues’, a documentary theatre performance sharing first-hand accounts from those who have experienced immigration detention centres. More details


Our StoryOur Story, 18 June, 4 – 5pm
Migration Matters Festival

Documentary and Q&A session sharing a project by Chol Theatre, which brought together young people in Sheffield and Brooklyn to begin to to create a play together based on their families personal stories of migration. More details


Strung OutStrung Out, 20 June
Phosphoros Theatre
A short film by Phosphoros Theatre, whose first production ‘Dear Home Office’ was based on the lived experiences of its young cast. ‘Strung Out’ takes a bold, sideways look at expectations, friendship and what it means to let go. Shared in snippets throughout Refugee Week and streamed in its entirety on World Refugee Day (20 June). More details


On the LineOn The Line Showcase, 20 June, 7pm
Compass Collective for Migration Matters Festival
Spoken word, stories and songs recorded during lockdown by young people seeking sanctuary in the UK will be shared in a film curated by Compass Collective. More details