refugee festival scotland

14 June – 20 June, 2021

Whatever the weather, Glaswegians can expect a warm welcome at Refugee Festival Scotland – and a packed programme of colourful events showcasing refugee arts and culture.

From live music and dance to online art shows, film screenings, gaming marathons and family-friendly picnics, the festival has something for everyone.

The line-up of online and outdoor events aims to bring people from different backgrounds and cultures together to meet, mix and get to know each other better. This year’s festival focuses on helping communities in Glasgow, and across Scotland to reconnect and build bonds of friendship after months kept apart by the pandemic.

maryhill integration centre

Maryhill Integration Network (MIN), a Glasgow-based charity that brings refugee, migrant and local communities together, is just one of many groups and organisations taking part.

MIN Director, Remzije Zeka Sherifi said: “Refugee Festival Scotland is an opportunity to celebrate the richness of diverse cultures that New Scots bring to Scotland’s artistic landscape and cultural life. It provides our members with a platform to share their art, ideas and creativity. We can’t wait to see you all for this year’s celebrations and to share the sights, sounds and colours of the festival.”

The festival celebrates the many ways refugees contribute to Scotland’s cultural life by showcasing the food and drink, music and dance, language and art that people bring with them when they begin new lives in Scotland.

Refugee Festival Scotland is produced by Scottish Refugee Council. Details of the 2021 festival programme are now online.

Glasgow Highlights


Tears of Gold: Stories of Refugee Women Displaced from Home

The University of Glasgow, in partnership with UNESCO RILA, Interfaith Scotland and The Dear Green Bothy, is delighted to be hosting an exhibition of Hannah Rose Thomas’ powerful portraits  of Yezidi, Rohingya and Nigerian survivors of displacement and sexual violence in the University of Glasgow Chapel 11th-17th June. The Chapel will be open to visitors throughout the week. You can also join the artist for the live streamed exhibition opening and closing events.

Friday 11-Thursday 17 June
Book free tickets for the launch and closing events Register at Eventbrite

A Thread is a Journey


Central and West Integration Network (CWIN) partnered with Glasgow School of Art for a 10-week creative project exploring textiles, fabric and patterns. Working with designer Christopher McEvoy, the group learned different textiles techniques including printing, weaving and embroidery. Inspired by one another’s’ cultures, they developed their own fabric designs. Join them in person for an outdoor exhibition at Garnethill Multicultural Centre to see the final artworks.

Tuesday, 15 June 1-4pm
Garnethill Multicultural Centre, 21 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RE
Free, outdoor event


Celebration Of Life

celebration of life joyous choir.

Join Maryhill Integration Network for a live performance by the Joyous Choir – featuring special guest, Farzane Zamen, a singer/songwriter from Iran – and enjoy traditional songs from group members’ cultures; songs of solidarity, sisterhood, friendship, freedom, journeys, and dreams.

Sunday, 20 June, 2pm
Book your FREE tickets at Eventbrite


My Window

freedom from torture film

Film screening of a documentary made by survivors of torture – all clients at Freedom from Torture’s Glasgow Centre. The film, produced by Urban Croft Films, explores the importance of the physical and metaphorical windows of the participants during the Covid-19 pandemic. These resilient group members look for hope and happy futures through their windows.

Friday, 18 June, 6pm
Book your free tickets via Eventbrite


Take Your Shot with Glasgow Film Theatre


An event for 11-14 year olds who are interested in film to take part in with their family or household! Learn from GFT’s Youth Officer about different camera shots, angles and tricks and learn to design your own!
All you need is some pen and paper, with the option of using a phone or table to create your own film shots. A fun 90minute activity that will change the way you look at film! (Film content in workshop will be BBFC Certificate PG or U)

Saturday 19 June 2021, 11:00
Book your FREE tickets by emailing Emma

Porridge And Play Children Say Hey!

porridge and play

Licketyspit’s Porridge & Play Online brings together families from all over the world who live in Glasgow, for children’s rights-based, imaginary play! To celebrate Refugee Festival Scotland, the children invite their friends, classmates and other new families to join us for a taster session designed by them! As well as Lickety Playcard classics like Funky Chicken, we’ll play the ‘HELLO GAME’, where we share our different languages and do a child-led Reflective Art activity! The session will be led by Storyplay Champion Children from refugee families, supported by Licketyspit Actor-Pedagogues. Families are welcomed into the Licketyspit community, through play!

Saturday, 19 June, 11pm
Free, online
Book via  Porridge and Play at Eventbrite


Rise Refugee Week Supper Club

refugee supper.

Join the women of Rise for an evening of celebration and recipes from home in an informal, outdoor setting. Gather some friends and picnic, no matter the weather, under a private gazebo. Enjoy the atmosphere of the sunken terrace at Woodlands Community Garden and sample food from the cultural heritage of the women we work with. Please note that this is an alcohol-free event.

Saturday, 19 June, 8pm
Tickets are sold in groups of 6 (per gazebo)
£150 per gazebo, Book at Eventbrite


In Our Shoes


Join Maryhill Integration Network for the launch of a new poetry collection developed by group members. In Our Shoes explores the power of poetry to communicate lived experience, and shows how poems can transport us into lives and histories very different from our own. Learn how collaborative poetry-writing sessions work, enjoy performances from a unique range of voices, and experience life In Our Shoes.

Monday, 14 June, 4pm
Free, online

Tour de Glasgow

During the months of May and June, members of MORE (a migrant-led grassroots organisation) are embarking upon the ‘Tour de Glasgow’ cycling initiative. They will be cycling to four green spaces in and around Glasgow to celebrate their collective resilience and rights to access green spaces. Join them for an online event featuring recordings from their journey as they explore the outdoors, share stories of their connection and contribution to the land and the healing properties of the green space. Discover what resilience and freedom mean to New Scots and people seeking asylum in Glasgow.

Sunday, 20 June, 3pm
Free, online
To book your place, contact Yvonne Blake

Details of all events can be found at Refugee Festival Scotland

Follow us on Twitter @ScotRefCouncil and use our festival hashtag #RefugeeFestScot or become a fan on Refugee Festival Scotland

Aye Write on Demand 2021
Riverside Festival Glasgow 2021 - Online

This section: Events, Fairs, Festivals and Fundraisers, Free Events, Zoom and online events

Written by :

Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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