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17 June 2019  -  23 June 2019

Refugee Week 2019

Refugee Week

This June will be the 21st Refugee Week, taking place across the UK. It’s one of the biggest arts festivals in the country, a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities. There are also international events in Australia, Europe and beyond.

Counterpoints Arts (the organisation that manages Platforma) co-ordinates Refugee Week, providing leadership and support, and working with the national partners.

We will also be presenting our own programme of events – more details on those soon!

For 2019 the theme is “You, me and those who came before” – an invitation to discover the experiences of displacement that are found in our families, neighbourhoods and history.

Counterpoints Arts is also presenting  a programme of films available to screen at special reduced rates during Refugee Week (17-23 June  2019) via our Moving Worlds website.

Other initiatives for 2019 include the Refugee Week Leadership Project and Simple Acts.

Check out the Refugee Week website for full details, resources and all the updates.


Refugee Week started in 1998 as a direct reaction to hostility in the media and society in general towards refugees and asylum seekers. An established part of the UK’s cultural calendar, Refugee Week is now one of the leading national initiatives working to counter this negative climate, defending the importance of sanctuary and the benefits it can bring to both refugees and host communities.

Last year there were more than 600 Refugee Week events in the UK, reaching more than 120,000 people. And there was a nationwide media campaign with a reach of many millions.

The aims of Refugee Week are:

  • To encourage a diverse range of events to be held throughout the UK, which facilitate positive encounters between refugees and the general public in order to encourage greater understanding and overcome hostility
  • To showcase the talent and expertise that refugees bring with them to the UK
  • To explore new and creative ways of addressing the relevant issues and reach beyond the refugee sector
  • To provide information which educates and raises awareness of the reality of refugee experiences

Our ultimate aim is to create better understanding between different communities and to encourage successful integration, enabling refugees to live in safety and continue making a valuable contribution.

Refugee Week is an umbrella festival, with events held by a wide range of arts, voluntary, faith and refugee community organisations, schools, student groups and more. Past events have included arts festivals, exhibitions, film screenings, theatre and dance performances, concerts, football tournaments and public talks, as well as creative and educational activities in schools.

Through Refugee Week we aim to provide an important opportunity for asylum seekers and refugees to be seen, listened to and valued.