You can stream a huge programme of events on a variety of topics in Brighton and across the UK for Refugee Week 2020.

This week (15 – 21 June) marks the nationwide celebration of Refugee Week, a festival that celebrates contributions of refugees. The platform is hosting hundreds of events centring around the experiences of refugees in culture, the arts and communities under the theme ‘Imagine’.

People are encouraged to take part and celebrate the nation’s interconnectedness at home this year with an eclectic programme available on your screens. This includes talks, workshops, storytelling, music performances, school activities and exclusive screenings suitable for all ages.

One of the main charity partners of the festival is Brighton & Hove’s Sanctuary On Sea, part of the national movement City of Sanctuary. The organisation aims to reduce fear, isolation and exclusion for asylum seekers and refugees, marking the skills and contributions of those who have come to the city for safety.

Nyaruach – Singing Resilience, June 18, 7 – 7.30pm. Refugee Week 2020.

Richard Williams, Chair of Sanctuary on Sea, said: “Our theme of ‘imagine’ this year is apt, as these unprecedented times have called for unprecedented creativity to find a way to celebrate while keeping safe, to come together while being apart.

“We have found different ways of connecting people inside our city and far beyond. We hope that you will join us at dozens of online events to laugh, cry and be inspired, in an imagined world where everyone feels safe and welcome and can realise their dreams.”

Tonight (Tues 16), Mo Omar will host ‘No Direction Home’, a night of comedy in support of Student Action for Refugees. Singer Nyaruach will be in conversation on Thursday (18th) joined by her brother and acclaimed hip-hop artist Emmanuel Jal. You can also see Lady Leshurr, the multi-talented rapped and songwriter on ITV’s ‘Don’t Hate The Playaz’, launch a specially commissioned football song and music video to mark the diversity of football.

Although most are free, some events invite viewers to “Pay What You Can Afford” to raise money for charities and organisations who improve the lives of refugees across the UK. A multitude of useful information and interactive resources are available to browse on the Refugee Week website at your leisure.

The Positive Power of Football Chants: New Fan Song with Lady Leshurr, June 19, 5.30 – 7.30pm. Refugee Week 2020.

Large parts of the schedule are dedicated to child-friendly events designed to educate and inspire children and young people. You can find a list of useful resources about how to include Refugee Week in the classroom on their website.

The annual festival takes place in the week closest to World Refugee Day, which falls on 20th June each year. This year’s focal theme is ‘Imagine’, which hopes to inspire different generations by promoting a culture of welcome in our communities.

Refugee Week is a collaborative enterprise curated by charities, local governments, churches, refugee community organisations, schools, faith groups, and arts organisations all over the UK. The umbrella festival encourages everyone to get involved in any way they can by either hosting or join an event in the programme. The awareness week was founded over 20 years ago and is rapidly developing into a global movement that encourages better understanding between communities.

Explore the incredible programme of events on the Refugee Week website.

How is Brighton involved this year? 

Brighton & Hove City Libraries are hosting several creative events online for children under the festival’s theme ‘Imagine’, including  All these events are available to stream on the Refugee Week website.

They are also running a Flash Fiction Writing competition with New Writing South and Book Nook under this year’s theme – Imagine. They are looking for short works of fiction with a maximum of 50 words for each submission. The competition is open to all ages and is free to enter, with the final deadline on Saturday 20th June at 5pm. Entries will be separated into categories for under 12s, under 18s and adults. Please email your entries to [email protected]

Brighton events:

Refugee Week Storytime (Stories for under 5s): Wed 17 & Fri 19 June, 10.15am.
Refugee Week Baby Boogie (Music and rhymes for under 5s): Thurs 18 June, 2.30pm.
National Reading Group Day (Borrow Beekeepers of Allepo by Christy Lefteri on Borrow Box): Sat 20 June.
Make Music Day Bash and Trash Boogie (Music for under 5s): Sun 21 June, 2.30pm.

For more information and to view a full list of events, visit https://refugeeweek.org.uk/events/