Refugee Week

Refugee Week


Left aligned imageRefugee Week is a unique opportunity to discover and celebrate the contributions that refugees make to the UK. Events take place across the UK, all of which explore refugee experience. Whatever you’re into – be it arts, music, food or just meeting people in your local area - Refugee Week will have an event for you.

Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham has been working with partners, Near Neighbours to collate a programme of events happening across the city for this year’s Refugee Week.



Refugee Week – Birmingham Events


Sunday 17th June – Ikon Gallery Migrant Festival (3-5.30pm)
Yorks Cafe at Ikon – 1 Oozells Square, Brindly Place, Birmingham B1 2HS
3pm – Themba Mvula leads European Youth Music and St Chad’s Sanctuary Refugee Choirs
To mark the start of Refugee Week (18-24 June), Ikon hosts performances by The European Youth Music Refugee Choir. Young refugees and asylum seekers make up the choir which will be accompanied by the St Chad’s Sanctuary Refugee Choir. Both choirs meet at St Chad’s Sanctuary with choral tutors Themba Mvula, Baritone and Lizzy Cragg, Soprano with Birmingham Opera.

3.30-5.30pm – Soapboxes & Riceboxes
£6, includes a Yorks ricebox (Booking essential)
Join us at Yorks for 20 quick-fire, soapbox presentations in response to Refugee
Week’s 20 Simple Acts campaign. Presenters include Mothership, Celebrating Sanctuary and Karis Neighbour Scheme. In 2018 Refugee Week celebrates 20 years (18-24 June).

Monday 18th June – 3pm to 5pm

English Through Song’ sharing - Birmingham Opera Company & St Chad’s Sanctuary.

The Grimshaw Room, St. Chad’s Cathedral, Shadwell Street, B4 6HA

A very special “English through Song” event with St Chads Sanctuary friends. Open to the public to get

involved for a drop in to watch and listen or to take part!


Tuesday 19th June – 10.00am to 2.30pm

Health & Wellbeing event with St Margaret’s Unity Hubb & Ashebo CiC

at St Margaret’s Church, St Margaret’s Rd, Ward End, B8 2BA

Health and wellbeing event especially for women. There will be a number of workshops taking place to

enjoy and engage in, with food and refreshments available.

Tuesday 19th June from 18:00 -21:00pm

Our Voice Birmingham – with UpRising, the British Red Cross and the Refugee Council

The Studio, 7 Cannon St, Birmingham, B2 5EP

Join us for a fun and interesting evening hearing from refugee and aslyum seeker young people who have travelled to the UK without family. During this event guests will see short films made by the young people, hear about their expereinces, and take part in interactive activities. Our key note speaker for the evening is Alex Fraser, British Red Cross UK Director Refugee Support and Restoring Family Links.


Tuesday 19th June from 6pm to 7.15pm

Coming Together with Carrs Lane Church and friends

at The Church at Carrs Lane, Carrs Lane, B4 7SX

Refugees with Brushstrokes, St Chad’s Sanctuary, European Youth Music Refugee Choirs, Birmingham

Progressive Synagogue, Choir with No Name sharing experiences through song, poetry, art and more.

Tuesday 19th June from 6.30pm
GAP Arts – Shifting Structures (Exhibition Opening)

The Old Print Works – 498-506 Moseley Rd, Birmingham B12 9AH
This exhibition presents artworks by Gem Douglas and Shirin Naveed that explore notions of home, shelter and stability in the context of human experiences of displacement.
For more details:  Please click here


Wednesday 20th June - (2-3.30pm)

Stone Road Refugee Week Celebration for residents

2-2.40 – Kate Luxemore, Olalekan Babalola, &Milton Godfrey with the BJF Ensemble.

2.45 – 3.30 – Mark Robertson – Drumming Workshop

Wednesday 20th June – Ikon Gallery & Slow Boat (FREE, drop in)

Meet the Artists (4kadialy-6pm – Slow Boat)
Performances by Kadialy Kouyate – 5.30 – 6pm – Slow Boat / 8-8.40pm -Yorks Cafe – Ikon
Slow Boat, Brewmaster Bridge, Brindley Place, Birmingham B1 2JB
Yorks Cafe – Ikon – 1 Oozells Square, Brindley Place, Birmingham B1 2HS
Join us on the Slow Boat to hear more about our forthcoming festival and events, Millicent Chapanda & Ben Pathy talk about their forthcoming residencies, followed by a special performance by Senegalese kora player and singer Kadialy Kouyate. This event marks World Refugee Day and the opening of Francis Alÿs’ exhibition at Ikon.


Wednesday 20th June – 12pm to 2.30pm

Through Our Eyes’ photography exhibition launch party with Rivers of Gold

The Old Print Works, 498-506 Moseley Rd, Birmingham B12 9AH

Launch party for the ‘Through Our Eyes Photography Collection’. A group of refugee photographers

have contributed to a collection which shows Birmingham as their new home through their own eyes.


Wednesday 20th June – 4.30pm to 6pm

Sanctuary Stories with St. Chad’s Sanctuary, Asylum Matters, Coral Manton

Edwardian Tea Room, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Come and hear the stories of refugees and asylum seekers from a collection of oral history interviews

taken for Birmingham’s Historic Collection. Live music from Millicent Chapanda, and refreshments.


Sisters in Mbira promoThursday 21st June (12-4pm FREE event)

Refugee Week 20th Birthday Celebration

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

The Round Room, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH

Partnership with CSB, Near Neighbours & BMAG

This celebration marks 20 years of Refugee Week and includes performances from refugee artists and engagement with support services. Come and join us to Celebrate and Welcome refugees.

Performances from:

Writers Without Borders - spoken word by WWB a group of writers from diverse backgrounds

Sister’s In Mbira – Millicent Chapanda and Anna Mudeka treat us to their captivating performance of Mbira and song with engaging rhythms from the deep cultural well and heritage of Zimbabwe.

Ben IKON 2 medAfro MioLed by Ben Pathy (Angolan singer songwriter) Afro Mio is a harmonious blend of rich vocals borne on a wave of rhythmic conga and melodious African guitar. Charming, engaging and beautiful, this is music to enrich the soul.

Stalls and activities




Friday 22nd June – Jazzlines – Rush Hour Blues

Tony Dudu & Gumbe Jazz (5-7pm FREE Entry)

Symphony Hall Foyer

Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EA




Friday 22nd June – Didier Kisala & Tony Dudu

Ort Cafe – (8-10.30pm – £5 Entry)

The Old Print Works, 500-504 Moseley Rd, Birmingham B12 9AH

8.20pm Didier Kissala- singer / songwriter and founder member of Birmingham based Congolese band The Redeemed. Didier will perform an acoustic set, creating a beautiful and soulful performance.

9.20pm Tony Dudu & Gumbe Jazz

Tony Dudu – acclaimed virtuoso guitarist originally from Guinea Bissau, West-Africa. Perfoming and recording with many bands over the years including Harare, his new project “Gumbe Jazz” is a fusion of West African rhythms, Latin grooves, South African rhythms and Jazz.


Friday 22nd June from 12pm to 2pm

Welcome Refugees with Handsworth Welcome

Elmwood Church, Hamstead Road, B20 1BT

Handsworth Welcome would like to invite partners, supportive organisations and individuals to join

us for a special lunch for our local refugee community, who we support regularly. All Welcome.


Saturday 23rd June – Refugee Week Festival at MAC (12-6.30pm)

MAC Birmingham – Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH

crowd at MAC edit copy



Live Performances from:

12.00pm – The Refugee Choir

Lizzy Cragg (Soprano with Birmingham Opera Company) leads the European Youth Music and the St Chad’s Sanctuary Refugee Choirs

12.20pm - Layla Tutt (local singer / songwriter)

12.50pm- Afro Mio (Lead by Ben Pathy – Angolan singer / songwriter)

1.20pm Drumming Workshop, Salsa Dance Workshop

2pm -Iryna Muha (Ukranian singer / songwriter)

2.30pm - Culture Dub Orchestra Quartet (World Roots Dub band with influences from all parts of the globe)

3.10pm - HassanSalih Nour – (Sudanese Singer and Ood Player)

3.45 – Millicent Chapanda, Chartwell Dutiro & AnnaMudeka – (Mbira and Song from Zimbabwe)

4.20pm -Nifeco Costa - (Singer / songwriter and guitarist from Guinea Bissau performs with his band Babock Jazz)

5.15 – 6.15pm – The Redeemed- In The Main Theatre

Founded by Didier Kisala, The Redeemed are a movement of youthful energy including singers, guitarists, dancers and drums. Hailing from the Democratic Republic of Congo their music reflects their heritage and a broad range of influences including Rumba, Sebene, Zouk, Jazz and Gospel.

Workshops, Stalls and Activities for all the family.


Saturday 23rd June 7 – 11pm
GAP Arts – Songs for Migration (Music Event)

The Old Print Works – 498-506 Moseley Rd, Birmingham B12 9AH

Featuring protest and rebel songs, folk music and Haitian Jazz from Ire-ish, Smut and Germa. Music from and about the world.
For more details: Please click here


Saturday 23 June 10:30am


For more info:  Please click here 


Sunday 24th June from 11am to 12.30pm

Sanctuary Sunday with St Martin in the Bullring

St Martin, Edgbaston St, Birmingham, B5 5BB

A special service dedicated to our Birmingham refugee communities.

Includes presentations and a performance with a Birmingham refugee choir.



Sunday 24th June from 2.00pm


Cycle Ride around the Edgbaston Reservoir with the Birmingham Bike Project


at Edgbaston Reservoir, main entrance meeting point


Join us for a leisurely cycle around the reservoir with our refugee group, followed by coffee and cake!




Friday 29 June 7:30pm




For more info and bookings:  Please click here


Celebrating Sanctuary is supported by National Lottery through ACE, Near Neighbours, John Feeney Charitable Trust, A4A and The Cole Charitable Trust, MAC, IKON, BMAG


Find out more about Refugee Week at:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>