Refugee Week Festival 2024

Refugee Week Festival 2024

This year's Refugee Week Festival will bring music and arts from around the world, showcasing the work of highly acclaimed, UK based refugee and migrant artists, from: DR Congo, Haiti, Iran, Kurdistan, Sudan, Peru, Ukraine, plus special international guests from Zimbabwe.  Also events by our partners and colleagues across the city.

Friday 14th June

Refugee Week Prayer 

Start Time 1.30-3pm (no appointment needed)

St. Martins in the Bull Ring, Birmingham B5 5BB

Event organised by Oasis Church

Saturday 15th June

Refugees Welcome Marchnull

Meet at Moseley Exchange B13 8JP

Start time:11am

Walking in solidarity with refugees to Mac

Event organised by Restore, Asylum Matters and RMC

Celebrating Sanctuary in Partnership with Mac


Saturday 15th June 

Refugee Week Takeover at Mac

Time: - 12-6.30pm                     Free Event

Activities for all the family!

12-1pm – Hexagon Theatre – Refugee Week Launch event

  • Presentations, spoken word and music

1.10 – 3.25 - Main Theatre  

  • Live music from around the world featuring Kausary from Peru

3.30-4.30pm -  Hexagon Theatre

  • Film, spoken word and music

4.30 – 6.30pm – Main Theatre

  • Headline acts featuring Zirak Hamad & Daholl Kurdish Band

Plus information stalls, arts and crafts and workshops

For more information on the artists performing click here 

Saturday 15th June 


Join Shelanu for a free drop-in fabric keyring and badge workshop. Choose off-cuts of a Birmingham map from 1835 symbolising a new home and welcome, and/or fabric with colours that represent your country of origin.

Hump group 

Camel milk is a natural dairy alternative and a suitable option with those with allergies. Hump Group highlights that 2024 is the United Nations Year of the Camelids, it's now more crucial than ever to highlight the Camelids family and the importance of Nomad (Bedouin) traditions such as camel milk.

Thursday 20th  June

Late Night Exchange: World Refugee Day

The Exchange: 3 Centenary Square Birmingham B1 2DR

6.30-8pm               Free Event

nullThis special Late event marks World Refugee Day to learn more about the experience of refugees, honour the contributions that refugees have made to their communities and advocate for the rights and protection of refugees worldwide.

  • Live music from Birmingham-based Congolese singer, songwriter Didier Kisala.
  • Photographs captured by Birch Network service users, showcasing their unique perspective of the city.
  • Members of Stories of Hope and Home will share their lived experiences as people seeking sanctuary.
  • BOSA (‘barefoot’ in Croatian), a gentle immersive performance and audio experience exploring the rituals of settling in.

This publication features a selection of work made in collaboration with asylum seekers and refugee residents in one of Birmingham’s government-assigned hotels.
GRAIN Projects were commissioned by Birmingham Museums Trust, with the support of Refugee Action and Birmingham City University.

In partnership with Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham, Birmingham Community Hosting Network (BIRCH), Stories of Hope and Home, and Notnow Collective.




nullNgadi Smart

Billboard, Sherlock Street, Birmingham

GRAIN Projects commissioned artist Ngadi Smart to lead workshops with women and their families, at one of Birmingham’s government assigned hotels, and to create a new artwork in response to her experience.  The artist met and collaborated with women and their families to inspire this new work which was made using photography, collage and illustration.

For National Refugee Week and World Refugee Day 2024 the work features on a billboard in Birmingham city centre (Sherlock Street).

The participants were from many different countries, including China, Sudan, India and Turkey, bringing rich cultural references to the creative sessions.   The workshops seemed to give the participants a much needed break and respite from the monotony of the hotel and the reality of their situation. 

 ‘Their stories had an impact on me.  The dreams, families, lives they had to give up, the seemingly endless wait for the results of their applications, which almost seemed like a purgatory to me, as their new lives are unable to start until applications are approved...  

The workshop reinforced my belief that everyone is essentially an artist/creative. I will always remember how some came along and immediately showed off their creative skills, and others, who swore they weren't creative, but realised they actually were after they started selecting images, cutting, sticking, drawing and collaging.  The children were confident in taking part, with no inhibitions.

For this work, it was important for me to incorporate some of the elements of participant’s family pictures, which they sent to me via mobile phone.   These are included without revealing identities and include children's hands making a heart shape, and daffodils photographed in a city park, symbolising birth and new beginnings.  I have included the sea and the land as elements for human sustenance, also as references to treacherous and long journeys, and sand timers as symbols of their time which they have given up in leaving a place, and given again in waiting -  all in one lifetime.’ 

Ngadi Smart, Artist

GRAIN Projects commission, supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham City University and Jack Arts.

For more information click here 

Friday 21st June

Refugee Week Prayer

1.30-3pm (no appointment needed)

St. Martins in the Bull Ring, Birmingham B5 5BB

Event organised by Oasis Church

Celebrating Sanctuary in Partnership with Erdington Arts

Friday 21st June

Erdington Evening of Creativity at Oikos Cafe

6.30 – 9pm - £5 entry (Free for refugees and other eligible parties)

nullThe Evening of Creativity once again welcomes Refugee Week through the doors of Oikos Cafe in Erdington - Birmingham's longest running consistent music night (never missed a month in 7 years!) prides itself on supporting the community with music, art, poetry and pizza. The night will be livestreamed via the Active Arts Castle Vale YouTube channel

Performances include:

Karolina Wegrzyn & Babak Aria

Stories of Hope and Home 

Look out for updates on more great acts performing

For more information on the artists performing click here

Celebrating Sanctuary in Partnership with B:Music

Saturday 22nd June

Refugee Week Takeover at Symphony Hall

Jennifer Blackwell Space - 2-5.30pm                    Free Event

  • Ava (Anglo-Persian duo)
  • Birmingham Passage Trio - Germa Adam, Xhosa Cole & Azizi Cole
  • Black Umfolosi – Visiting artists from Zimbabwe

Plus information stalls, arts and crafts

For more information on the artists performing click here 

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Supported by Arts Council England & Foyle Foundation.