A festival showcasing the art and culture of Scotland’s refugee community has unveiled its programme of events.
The annual Refugee Festival Scotland will take place largely online due to the pandemic.
Running from June 14-20, it will feature artists and performers who came to Scotland seeking refugee protection.
Visual art, dance, talks and workshops will look at the theme of connecting communities and building friendships after the pandemic.
Events include an Africa Cultural Dance performance over Zoom, a cooking workshop by poet Sean Wai Keung and a storytelling session from playwright, author and mbira musician Tawona Sithole.
Glasgow-based charity the Maryhill Integration Network is one of the groups taking part.
Director Remzije Zeka Sherifi said the festival is an “opportunity to celebrate the richness of diverse cultures that new Scots bring to Scotland’s artistic landscape and cultural life”.
She added: “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.”
Sabir Zazai, chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council, which runs the festival, said: “This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, a UN treaty that defends the rights of refugees.
“Refugee Festival Scotland is an opportunity to reflect on Scotland’s longstanding tradition of offering protection to people seeking sanctuary and celebrate the many ways in which refugees enrich our communities.
“It also helps us to better understand the plight of refugees, fleeing conflict, persecution and human rights violations, the perilous journeys that many people face, and the complexities of an increasingly regressive asylum system.”
He added: “In these challenging and uncertain times, coming together in solidarity and support for Scotland’s refugee communities has never been more important.
“So, please join our colourful, diverse and vibrant programme of events to make new friends, extend a hand of friendship to new Scots and celebrate the positive contribution that refugees make to life in Scotland.”
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