News / Arnolfini Arts

Bristol Refugee Festival kicks off

By ellie pipe, Monday Jun 19, 2017

The voices of Bristol’s refugees and asylum seekers will be heard throughout a month-long celebration that launches on Monday, June 19.

People of all ages and walks of life are invited to take part in the city’s Refugee Festival that will bring a varied programme of arts, cultural and educational events to different venues and locations.

Bristol Refugee Festival Coordinator Jules Olsen said the aim is to bring communities together to celebrate and value the contribution that refugees make to the city.

She also hopes it will help to overcome misconceptions that can create hostility in a bid to promote successful integration.

Dance celebrations at last year’s Bristol Refugee Festival

The launch event at the Arnolfini will feature performances by musicians from the Lorraine Ayensu Refugee Arts project (LARA) and speakers from Bristol Refugee Rights Voice Project. People from Bristol Free Voice will be on hand to introduce their interactive Voice Box project.

Attendees can also artwork from Borderlands’ recent successful Rise Exhibition and the Bristol-based refugee charity will be promoting a new book, Borderlands, a collection of stories, poetry and artwork by Bristol’s refugees and asylum seekers.

Light refreshments will be provided by Refugee Women of Bristol.

The festival theme this year is ‘Our Shared Future’ as people get together to celebrate all the communities that make up our culturally rich and diverse city, consider how to integrate settled and incoming families and build further to build on this legacy.

One of the highlights is the annual ‘Celebrating Sanctuary’ event in Queen Square on Sunday, July 9.

A full programme of events can be viewed online.


Read more: ‘The asylum process makes you feel insecure each day’

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