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Brighton Refugee Week 2020

Dear <<First Name>>, 

The theme for this year's Refugee Week 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? Everyone had to shelve their original plans and get busy creating a virtual festival filled with exciting online activities instead.

Although we are unable to gather and meet in physical spaces this year, we still want the week to bring a sense of togetherness and solidarity. A large dose of creativity has helped community members across Brighton & Hove to put together a range of events and activities to get involved with next week to celebrate the diversity of our communities and the richness that brings.
Follow Refugee Week on Facebook
Brightest and Best documentary miniseries, 13-20th June

New documentary described by creator Joanna Suchomska as 'stories of resistance' from migrants. It premieres online 13th June and will be available to stream until the 20th. Catch it on their Facebook page and give the page a like to be notified when they go live! Euromernet will also be streaming short interviews throughout the week with people featured in the film over on their page
Q&A with Waad al Kateab, director of For Sama

Join an online discussion with the Bafta award winning director of For Sama, a powerful film about loss and survival in war-torn Syria. With guests from the Syrian community in Brighton. If you haven’t seen the film already, it’s available free of charge on Channel 4 here.

When: Monday 15th June, 4.15pm
Where: Register here
“Imagine...a better future for you” with Ambigo, 15th June

Hummingbird Young Leader Naqeeb Saide hosts 3 talks from speakers with refugee backgrounds exchanging their stories of achieving a goal. The second half of the chat will be people from the wider community, including Refugee Week Ambassador, Phati Mnguni and will invite participants to share their ideas, ambitions and contacts to make them happen. 

When: Monday 15th June, 6.30pm
Where: Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTubeRegister your spot for free on 
Best Foot Music celebrate Refugee Week, 18th June
Best Foot Music will be celebrating the week with an evening of music bringing together musicians from culturally diverse backgrounds based in the UK. Here is the confirmed line-up, so far - with more to come!
  • Jamal & Alaa (Syrian music) - listen to a preview here!
  • Bashir Al Gamar (Sudanese)
  • Polina & Merlin Shepherd (Russian/Jewish folk)
When: Thursday 18th June at 7.30pm.
Where: Join them online here for a celebration of musical heritage from around the world and click 'going' on their Facebook event to be reminded.
No Direction (at) Home comedy gig, 19th June

Live, online laughter from the brilliant No Direction Home comedy collective in partnership with Sanctuary on Sea. Guest speaker to be announced! 
When: 8pm on Friday 19th June.
Where: Tune in on Zoom. Tickets here
Brighton & Hove Libraries celebrate Refugee Week

Click for more details.

...and keep out for some exciting news from Brighton & Hove libraries on Monday!
Message in a Bottle, 20th June
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!

Message in a Bottle was designed by photographer and community facilitator Jane Lancashire with the consultation of Dr Gil Mualem-Doron, SEAS’s creative producer, to commemorate the lives of refugees and migrants that have been lost crossing the Mediterranean Sea - over 20,000 since 2014. To create the installation, 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. People have copied poems and lyrics that resonate with them, or written their own words. You can follow the project's journey here.

Another part of the project was creating digital postcards, like the one above. People were invited to submit words of solidarity for refugees
embarking on dangerous journeys for safety and freedom and unique digital postcards were created from the submissions.

When: Saturday, June 20th 15:00-17:00
Where: On Zoom: Register here and a link will be sent to you.
Euromernet celebrate Refugee Week
The Euro Mediterranean Resources Network (Euromernet) have a packed schedule of events for the week, including: 

Imagine a World Without Wars, 16th June
Guest speaker Shadi, an artist and educator from Syria, will join Euromernet online from Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. He will share his experiences fleeing conflict as well as his knowledge of the region's rich arts and cultural heritage. Join the live link-up Tuesday 16th June, at 6-8pm. Details will be posted here

Euromernet poetry club: 'Verse a Tile', 17th June
A poetic homage to Refugee Week where people are invited to write a short poem on a 'tile' of any material - ceramic, wood, paper - and share it online. When: Wednesday 17th June, 6-7pm. Details will be posted here

Red Umbrella Parade, 20th June
Euromernet are hosting their annual activists' parade marking World Refugee Day online this year. Join the protest on Zoom from 2-3pm on Saturday 20th Junedetails will be posted here.

Human Chain against hate speech, 21st June
Euromernet are joining forces with No Hate Speech UK to form a virtual human chain against hate speech and false narratives targeting refugees, an event that usually takes place in central Brighton. When: Sunday 21st June, 2-3pm. Details will be posted here

Euromernet Poetry Club: words, the migratory birds, 21st June
A poetic homage to Refugee Week with examples of poems through history, written by poets during their journeys in exile. Participants are welcome to read their own poems on the topic. When: Sunday 21st June, 3-4 pm. Details will be posted here

Euromernet Cultural Heritage Club exhibition: 'Imagine: Utopias in History'
In collaboration with Brighton & Hove Libraries, this new exhibition will explore the stories of people who dreamt of perfect worlds, and tried to create them. It will run from 15-29th June. Details will be posted here

Tune into their special Refugee Week programme Live on Brighton & Hove Community Radio, 18th June 2-4pm.

They'll also host a series of films themed around refugees to mark the week, all free to watch. Find the full list here.
Imagine a world-garden
A new online project has launched to mark Refugee Week in Brighton this year. 'Imagine a world-garden' is a Facebook group (click here) open to anyone to post in. Here's how to take part:
  • Select an image of a tree, plant or flower that you like, has special meaning to you or a great significance in your culture.
  • Write about it (350 words maximum) and post the image or
  • Present your tree, plant or flower through painting, poetry, music, or other medium.
Tag us @BrightonSanct in your post and we'll share them!
Windrush Presence 2020 launch event
BME Heritage Network in collaboration with  is launching its 2020 Windrush programme with a free event on 22 June with very special guest Patrick Vernon OBE, social commentator, campaigner and cultural historian. The Windrush Presence project celebrates the contributions of the Windrush generation to British social, cultural and political life and this evening will feature talks, live music, film, readings and performanceBook your space now as they may run out: click here. All welcome!
When: Monday 22nd June, 7.30 -8.45pm
Where: event will take place on Zoom - after signing up you will be sent a link and password.

Do a Simple Act!
What would your school, community or city look like, if you made the rules? 

This year's Simple Act is an invitation for children and young people to step back from the current moment and imagine the world you want to see. You can take this Simple Act wherever your imagination wants to go and start as small or as big as you like. Here are some ideas:
  • Draw, paint, craft or write a poem or story about the world you want to see
  • Write a poem or short story starting with ‘Imagine if…’ or ‘Imagine a world where…’
  • Imagine you had to leave your home behind. What would you take with you? What would you hope to find?
  • Stick your imagining in your window, send it to a friend and share it on Instagram using the hashtags #SimpleActs #Imagine. Don't forget to use #BHRefugeeWeek so we know you're from Brighton & Hove!
For more Refugee Week ideas for children and young people, see this briefing we have prepared. The BEEM website has lots of information about Schools of Sanctuary in Brighton & Hove and resources for them.
Directory of Services

The Directory of Services available to refugees and migrants in Brighton and Hove is available online. Please send us any information and updates on changes to existing services or any new activities in response to COVID.

This directory lists organisations which offer support to, or are advocating on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. It also lists organisations which offer specific services of interest to refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, as well as a small number of refugee- and migrant-led organisations. Please read and share as widely as you can. Please let us know if you would like your service to be included in the directory, or if your existing entry needs updating.
Copyright © 2020 Sanctuary on Sea, All rights reserved.

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