Dance, theatre, reading, writing, film, food and poetry. This year, Refugee Festival Scotland will be celebrating storytelling in all its forms, recognising the contribution of communities who have settled in Scotland.
In Scotland the celebrations start earlier than the rest of the UK. UNHCR will be joining the opening ceremony which marks the start of the festival, running from 17 – 26 June. Venues across Scotland will bring people together, encouraging them to ‘meet, mix, and get to know each other.’ Events all focus on the theme of storytelling, with a huge variety of workshops, performances, talks and more.
UNHCR Acting UK Representative Larry Bottinick said,
“Scotland has proved time and time again to be a generous host of refugees and asylum-seekers. Not only welcoming people seeking safety into their communities, but accepting them and crucially, learning from them. I’m so pleased to be here for Refugee Festival Scotland to experience this warm welcome first hand.”
He added that in a time of unprecedented global displacement, this approach to asylum was more vital than ever. ‘UNHCR recently announced that the number of people forcibly displaced around the world has reached the shocking number of 100 million. Whilst we continue to advocate for the root causes of this crisis to be addressed, generosity and kindness around the world is needed for those currently suffering.’
The Festival, organised by Refugee Council Scotland, says it aims to provide a platform for people with refugee backgrounds to showcase their art, cultural heritage and contribution to life in Scotland, to reduce loneliness and social isolation and to raise awarenesses of the challenges refugees experience.
Refugee Festival Scotland’s Small Grants Fund is gifting 63 local grassroots groups between 100 and 500 to help cover the cost of their events. These include an Afghan Day in Glasgow, a day of activities organised by the Sudanese Community in Edinburgh and a day of art, music, food and storytelling organised by The Highlands Supports Refugees.
You can explore all the events taking place across Scotland on the Refugee Festival Scotland Website