Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on the 20 June. In the UK, Refugee Week is coordinated by Counterpoint Arts and is an umbrella festival with a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities. This year Refugee Week will be celebrated online as a digital festival with the theme “We Cannot Walk Alone”.
Refugee Week began in 1998 as a direct reaction to hostility in the media and society in general towards refugees and asylum seekers and is now one of the leading national initiatives working to counter this negative climate, defending the importance of sanctuary and the benefits it can bring to both refugees and host communities.
The aims of Refugee Week are:
- To facilitate positive encounters between refugees and the general public in order to encourage greater understanding and overcome hostility
- To showcase the talent and expertise that refugees bring with them to the UK
- To explore new and creative ways of addressing the relevant issues and reach beyond the refugee sector
- To provide information which educates and raises awareness of the reality of refugee experiences
Cinema and Refugee Week
One of the eight Simple Act as part of Refugee Week is to watch a film. Simple Acts are everyday actions we can all do to stand with refugees and make new connections in our communities.
Moving Worlds by Counterpoints Arts is a special selection of features and shorts with post-screening resources, available to view at home for Refugee Week 2020. There will be a suggested a film from the programme each day of Refugee Week, inviting you to connect with fellow film-lovers through online post-film discussions.
For even more films, take a look at the British Film Institute’s Refugee Week collection on BFI player.
Ahead of its 30th July release on by MUBI Ben Sharrock’s Limbo is having preview screenings across Picturehouse cinemas during Refugee Week. Limbo follows Omar (Amar El Masry) – a promising young musician as he finds himself separated from his Syrian family and stuck on a remote Scottish island awaiting the fate of his asylum request.
Refugee Week invites you to run an event and can support you to do this. If you have an idea for an event (online or in venue) or activity you’d like to run this Refugee Week, take a look at their event organiser pack.
Below are more guides and organisations who organise events which you can support, there are also case studies and platforms to watch relevant films on.