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Refugee Week 2020 – Imagine

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The theme of Refugee Week 2020 is Imagine and who could have imagined that we would be marking it this year in the midst of a lockdown caused by a global pandemic? Instead of coming together at Brighton Museum and Brighton Dome, our partners have been busy putting together a virtual festival to celebrate Brighton & Hove’s refugees and migrants.

Refugee Week have suggested some Simple Acts, which are every day actions we can all do to stand with refugees and make new connections in our communities. Take part in some of these Simple Acts and join a big, creative, collective movement to imagine a better world.

Events being held throughout the week in Brighton & Hove are each inspired by a Simple Act.

1. ‘Imagine’. This Simple Act is an invitation to take a step back from the current moment, and imagine the world you want to see. What would your school, community, city, or the planet look like, if you made the rules?

Throughout the week, take part in online project ‘Imagine a world-garden’. Select an image of a tree, plant, or flower that you like, has special meaning to you or a great significance in your culture. Share it through painting, music, or words and post to the facebook page. Don’t forget to tag @BrightonSanc to share it far and wide. Visit here to find out more.

EVENT: Monday 15 June, 6.30pm, ‘Imagine’ with Ambigo

Hummingbird Young Leader Naqeeb Saide hosts 3 speakers with refugee backgrounds, exchanging their stories of achieving a goal, followed by interactions with people from the wider community, including Refugee Week Ambassador, Phati Mnguni. Join the talk through Eventbrite.

2. Simple Act: Watch a film

The best films take us to places we’d never otherwise have gone, introduce us to people we’d never otherwise have met and spark conversations we wouldn’t otherwise have had.

EVENT: Monday 15 June, 4.15pm – A webinar Q&A with Waad al-Kateab, director of the film For Sama, and members of the Brighton Syrian community. For Sama is an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. The story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while conflict rises around her. Click to join the webinar here.

Saturday 20 June: Euro-Mediterranean Resources Network (Euro-Mernet) is showing the film For Sama online throughout the day.

For even more films, take a look at the British Film Institute’s Refugee Week collection.

3. Simple Act: Read a book about Exile

Books transport us. Through the page, we can reach out and touch another’s experience, or take a hike with them through the mountains and valleys of their imagination.

Follow Brighton & Hove Libraries on Twitter and Facebook for staff reading recommendations and lots of online activities throughout Refugee Week.

EVENTS: Monday 15, Wednesday 17, Friday 19, 10.15am – Take part in B&H Libraries online storytime for under 5s, on the theme ‘Imagine’.


4. Simple Act: Tell a joke

Jokes bring us together, and remind us what we have in common. They also lift our spirits in the dark.

EVENT: 19 June, 8-9.30pm, live, online laughter from the brilliant No Direction (at) Home comedy collective in partnership with Sanctuary on Sea. Book your free spot here.

5. Simple Act: Take a tour

 Art has a magical way of helping us transcend borders, make unexpected connections and discover new things about our world, and ourselves. While we may not be able to visit galleries and museums in person right now, there is a world to see online. 

Take part in an interactive Refugee Week exhibition, Message in a Bottle.

It’s a collaborative project to commemorate the lives of refugees and migrants that have been lost crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Messages of love and support have been written onto plastic bottles which are then cut up and heated with a heat gun. Each piece curls and ends up unique in shape. Follow the project’s journey here

EVENT: Saturday, June 20, 3-5pm. SEAS (the Socially Engaged Art Salon) is hosting an interactive afternoon where they will launch their Refugee Week exhibition, Message in a Bottle, and feature short films, live music and a short art workshop. It’s a family event – all welcome! Register here and a link will be sent to you.

6. Share a song

Music brings us together, and connects us to our common humanity. It open us to the hardships and joys of others, and helps us to imagine.

Discover, listen to or sing a new song this Refugee Week. A song that has crossed borders or a song in another language; a song about home, displacement, or imagining the future.

EVENT: Thursday 18 June, 7.30pm – Join Brighton’s Best Foot Music for an evening of music from around the world. The line up so far includes: Jamal and Alaa (Syrian music), Bashir Al Gamar (Sudanese), Polina and Merlin Shepard (Russian/Jewish folk)

Tune in here

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For full details of everything that is happening during Refugee Week visit Brighton & Hove Sanctuary on Sea