Events

Refugee Festival Scotland is back and everyone is invited

todayMay 22, 2024 28

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Refugee Festival Scotland has announced an exciting line-up of events sharing the stories of people and communities who have settled in Scotland.

In a year of terrible conflicts that’s seen millions of people around the world forced from their homes, the festival brings together people from different backgrounds in friendship and solidarity. The theme of this year’s festival is RISE, to honour the resilience of people who are rebuilding their lives in safety in Scotland.

More than 130 events will take place across Scotland from 14-23 June. The diverse programme – our largest ever – includes contributions from artists and performers who came to Scotland seeking refugee protection, along with the communities that have welcomed them.

Refugee Festival Scotland has something for everyone, from music and dance, DJs and drag queens, food and drink, football tournaments and family-friendly picnics. The line-up brings people from different backgrounds and cultures together to meet, mix and get to know each other better.

Scottish Refugee Council Chief Executive, Sabir Zazai said: “The last year has been incredibly tough for people in the refugee community. It’s important to make time for moments of joy, connect with one another and revel in not only what we have in common but also what makes us all unique.

“The festival is an opportunity to come together and share stories, celebrate each other’s culture and learn more about our new neighbours.

“Together, we can rise above the hostile environment and find strength in our communities.”

Refugee Festival Scotland Manager, Mónica Laiseca said: “Packed with unique events and exceptional talent, the festival honours the resilience and courage of New Scots and celebrates a vision for a Scotland where everyone can blossom and has equal opportunity to thrive.

“At a particularly dire time for refugees and asylum seekers living in our communities, our festival puts forward an empowering message of welcome and makes visible the support that is overwhelmingly present and active across Scottish society.”

Elina, a Refugee Festival Scotland ambassador who travelled from Ukraine to Scotland, said: “We are spreading a message that anyone can rise out of any circumstances they have faced in their own life since unfortunately most refugees experience the worst things that can happen to any human. We can share our experience to inspire other people too.”

Highlights include a collaboration between the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Refugee Festival Scotland to stage a special family-friendly concert celebrating the power of a good song. Three Glasgow-based community choirs will perform their most-loved songs accompanied by an 18-piece ensemble from the RSNO. Raising Voices – Refugee Festival Scotland

Get Wild in Dundee! The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds will be hosting interactive nature sessions marking the return of the white-tailed eagle to Scotland. How It Felt will then host puppet-making workshops where families can create their own eagles.

Hope Busák, Wild Dundee Project Manager at RSPB, said: “This year, RSPB Scotland’s ‘Wild Dundee’ initiative focuses on white-tailed eagles, showcasing nature’s resilience and the importance of connecting to the environment wherever we are.” Resilience in Flight with White-tailed Eagles – Refugee Festival Scotland

Pitlochry Festival Theatre will be embracing positive vibes with  a day of Light Hope and Joy. Deborah Dickinson​​​​, producer at Pitlochry Festival Theatre, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming New Scots and Scots to the Theatre to enjoy arts activities in the beautiful Scottish landscape around us and to celebrate our shared humanity.” Light Hope Joy Day – Refugee Festival Scotland

Refugee Festival Scotland is produced by Scottish Refugee Council. Full programme details are now online: refugeefestivalscotland.co.uk.

Written by: PaisleyRadio

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