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Refugee Festival Scotland – celebrating a diverse and welcoming West End

By on May 31, 2015

Refugee Festival Scotland is back for its 15th year with an array of events designed to bring communities across Glasgow and the country together.

Produced by the Scottish Refugee Council, the three-week festival from June 3-21 celebrates the contribution refugees make to Scotland’s cultural life – the food and drink, music and poetry, dance, visual art, language and ideas that refugees bring with them when they begin new lives in Scotland.

Scottish Refugee Council’s Arts Officer Suzi Maciver said: “Most refugees arrive in Scotland with little more than the clothes on their backs and the stories and memories in their hearts. In fleeing for their lives, people leave behind their homes, jobs and loved ones.

“But people don’t come here with nothing. They bring skills and talents, songs, stories, recipes and so much more. They become our friends, colleagues and neighbours, and make Scotland a richer and more vibrant place to live.

“Our festival celebrates all of this and offers people from different communities the chance to get to know each other better, to sample a little of each other’s cultures and listen to each other’s stories. The festival brings a varied range of events to Glasgow to exhibit the contribution refugees make to Glasgow life, and to celebrate a diverse and welcoming Scotland.

“We are proud that Scotland provides a place of safety to men, women and children fleeing terrible situations around the world and think this is something worth celebrating.”

Refugee Festival Scotland runs from June 3-21 and takes place in venues across the Glasgow. The line-up has something for everyone, from music, theatre, dance and visual arts to food, film, family events and even a football tournament.

Here are some of the Refugee Festival Scotland 2015 highlights in the West End:

How the World Wags A reworking of Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It.’ Exploring the theme of exile, Glasgow University Union, Wednesday 17 June, 7.30-10pm, £5 / £3 concession.

Free China: The Courage to Believe A documentary shedding light on how Fulan Gong practitioners retain their values despite brutal persecution in China, Hillhead library, Saturday 6 June, 2 – 4.30pm, Free.

Here are some of the Refugee Festival Scotland 2015 highlights across Glasgow:

Visual art Being Human Photography and textiles by Iranian refugee artists living in Scotland, The Arches, 4-21 June, open daily from 10am, Free.

Performance Rap of Life (A musical journey) Three girls who came to Scotland at a young age rap about their lives and their journeys, Govanhill Baths, 18-19 June, 6.30 – 8pm, Free.

Family & community Gorbals international ceilidh Ceilidh celebrating the cultural diversity of Glasgow’s Gorbals, followed by music and poetry from around the world, St Francis Hall, Sandyfaulds St, Gorbals, Friday 12 June, 5-8pm, Free, tickets not required. Bring a picnic.

Food and drink The Southside Souk, One-day family friendly festival with world food, live music and dance, The Old Barn, Pollok Park, Saturday 20 June, 12 – 9pm, £5 donation / free for refugees and children.

Discussion The Glasgow Girls: Ten years on The Glasgow Girls reflect on their campaign to end child detention in Scotland. Film, music and discussion, CCA, Glasgow, Sunday 14 June, 5-7pm, Free but ticketed.

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