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Refugee Festival Scotland back for celebration of solidarity

By on May 23, 2016

Refugee Festival Scotland is back for its 16th year with a Scotland-wide programme of events designed to bring communities across the country together.

Co-ordinated by Scottish Refugee Council, the two-week festival celebrates the contribution refugees make to Scotland’s cultural life through food, sport, language and the arts.

The theme for Refugee Festival Scotland 2016 is solidarity and will celebrate the warm welcome Scots are offering to the men, women and children who have been forced to flee their homes in countries such as Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan and others during the biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

This year’s programme is packed with more than 100 events from music concerts, theatre and dance performances, to family days and football tournaments, so there is something for everyone – right across Scotland.

Scottish Refugee Council’s arts and cultural development officer Suzi Maciver said: “Scotland has responded compassionately to the refugee crisis and many Scots have opened their hearts to those in need.

“Refugee Festival Scotland is about recognising this difficult present – but it’s also about being inspired by the people who are becoming part of our country’s rich tapestry, as we move into the future together.

“Now, more than ever, we need to stand in solidarity, visibly and proudly, with the people who’ve had to flee everything precious to them to survive and build new lives here.

“Join us and show your solidarity with refugees this June. Let’s stand together, welcome new friends and celebrate Scotland as our home – a place that we can all belong to.”

Refugee Festival Scotland 2016 runs from June 14-26 – for full listings, visit

Glasgow Highlights

Saturday June 18, 12-4pm, The Hidden Gardens & Tramway, Glasgow, free and unticketed – ‘Celebrating Solidarity’ – Refugee Festival Scotland Launch. A fun-filled gathering for all the family featuring live music, dance, arts and crafts, sports and games, face painting and free food. 

Tuesday June 14, 6.15pm-7.15pm, The Mitchell Auditorium Theatre, Mitchell Library, Granville Street entrance, £5 plus booking fee – ‘Lest We Forget: First World War – Refugees Then & Now’. Discover the experiences of Belgian refugees in Scotland during WW1 and parallel stories of refugees today. To book visit or call 0141 353 8000

Tuesday June 14 – Sunday 26, 10am-8pm, Mitchell Library, Granville Street entrance, free – visual art exhibition.

Saturday June 4, 2pm-2.45pm, Queen’s Park (by the flagpole), free – Commemorative tree unveiling community event.

Thursday June 16, 6-7pm, Centre for Contemporary Arts, free and un-ticketed – Glasgow Transit Zone & If I Were You. A double bill of documentaries about the hidden lives of asylum seekers in Calais and Ireland.

Thursday June 9 – Sunday 26, Gallery of Modern Art, free – A photographic exhibition by Iman Tajik accompanies ‘Transit Zone’.

Friday June 3, 7.30-8.30pm, St Andrew’s Cathedral, Clyde Street, £10 all proceeds to Scottish Refugee Council  – Solidarietà. Summer Evening of Classical Music. The Italian Cultural Institute presents a beautiful evening of classical music in support of refugees in Scotland. To book visit:

Follow us on Twitter @ScotRefCouncil and use festival hashtag #RefugeeFestScot or become a fan on Facebook:



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