Last week (18th–24th June) marked the 20th anniversary of Refugee Week, an annual festival held across the globe to celebrate inclusivity and raise awareness of those seeking refuge around the world. The festival coincides each year with World Refugee Day on 20th June, and this year saw a range of events held across Oxfordshire which related to the experiences of refugees.
To celebrate the festival’s 20th year, Refugee Week asked individuals to complete ‘20 simple acts’ throughout the week. These included writing a 20-word poem, sharing a 20-second message of welcome to refugees on social media, learning a few words in another language, and finding five facts about refugees.
Each of these small actions helped to further the mission of the festival: encouraging diversity, facilitating positive encounters between communities, showcasing talent, educating about the experiences of those seeking refuge, and exploring new and interesting ways of addressing issues related to the refugee sector.
Across Oxfordshire, several exciting events promoted the positive contributions of refugees to our society. ‘Art for Action’ hosted an evening of poetry, music, film, and art in St. Aldate’s Church, which showcased refugee art. Several talks were held throughout the city on various issues facing the refugee community, including a panel discussion on the unique issues facing women refugees in the UK. In Ramsden, the annual Tandem Festival featured a range of performers and artists from refugee communities.
The week featured many other inclusive and celebratory activities across the county, all of which reflect our mission here at KAMA, to encourage understanding between communities, and promote the positive contributions refugees bring to our society. Representatives from KAMA attended many events throughout the week, and we can’t wait to attend again next year!