Join the community and show your support this Refugee Week
There are lots of community events and creative actions happening locally for Refugee Week 2022 (20 to 26 June).
The planned events aim to highlight and value the migrant experience, while promoting the national Refugee Week 2022 theme 'healing through creativity and conversations'.
The five main events being organised and run by The Refugee Buddy Project are listed below.
Where are you really from? (18 June - 24 July) at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery
An exhibition of patchwork pieces created by local people with experience of immigration and seeking refuge, and the volunteers who support them in building new lives in Hastings. The project is a collaboration between Hastings Museum & Art Gallery and The Refugee Buddy Project.
Mr Gay Syria (18 June, 4.30pm - 9pm) at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery
To celebrate Refugee Week and Pride Month, The Refugee Buddy Project together with Hastings Museum & Art Gallery are delighted to offer an evening at the cinema with traditional Syrian food. Mr Gay Syria follows two Syrian refugees who are trying to rebuild their lives. Will the dream come true or will the refugee crisis and the harsh consequences of being gay in the Muslim world shatter it to pieces?
This screening will be followed by a panel discussion hosted by Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants and will feature Laura Clarke, co-Founder and Director of Eggtooth, as well as project participant Basil who has direct experience of the themes in the film.
Faith, Family, Community and Home - an exhibition (20 - 26 June) at The Nest, The Old Town Hall
This exhibition presents the work of Nour Alezou and is the result of a mentoring programme run by The Refugee Buddy Project. This mentoring programme saw Shannon Ghannam of Magnum Photos working with Nour over the course of several months to explore themes around faith, family, community, and home.
The exhibition will run over the whole of Refugee Week 2022, with a launch event on 21 June at 6.30pm.
All Refugees Welcome (22 June 12.30pm - 3.30pm) at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill
This panel discussion seeks to ask questions about the role images have played in our understanding of migration and asylum seeking in the UK, the dominant narratives that prevail and the counter narratives that emerge. Most importantly they will discuss the impact these narratives have on individuals, families, and communities settling in the UK.
This panel discussion is for anyone interested in this subject but particularly will look at visual strategies for those working in refugee support services or the media reporting on these issues. Speaking at this panel will be Jess Crombie, Amak Mahmoodian, Daniel Trilling, Maz Saleem, Shannon Ghannam, and Rossana Leal.
The event will begin with lunch / buffet at 12.30pm followed by the panel from 1.30pm.
Bike Ride and Community Feast (24 June, 5pm - 8pm)
Join Bike Lab Hastings and Black Butterfly for a seafront bike ride from the Labyrinth at Goat Ledge to The Refugee Buddy Project's new community cafe, where there will be a free community feast cooked by Palestinian-Syrian chef Momo. Bring a bike or borrow one for the ride. All ages and abilities are welcome.
Over 18 organisations, 15 artists, and dozens of local volunteers are generously creating and supporting activities and events. The full calendar of the events coordinated by The Refugee Buddy Project can be found at www.therefugeebuddyproject.org/upcoming-events.
Other events happening at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery to mark Refugee Week include the drawing and sound performance Imploded, burnt, turned to ash, 2021 (18 June - 24 July) by Syrian born, UK based artist, Issam Kourbaj. This marks the tenth anniversary of the Syrian uprising - a crisis that resulted in violent armed conflict and ongoing civil war. This performance is a collaboration with composer Richard Causton and soprano Jessica Summers and will be screening at the museum.
Hastings Museum & Art Gallery are also hosting Sanctuary Festival 2022, the day is organised by Hastings Community of Sanctuary and Hastings Supports Refugees. The free, fun packed day will focus on showing support for the act of seeking sanctuary and raising funds for Hastings Supports Refugees.
Sanctuary Festival 2022 (26 June, 12noon - 7pm) at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery
The free Sanctuary Festival returns for a day of live music from some of Hastings' best musicians, creative workshops, talks, children's activities, delicious food, and fun.
The museum grounds will be closed to vehicles on the day. If you are planning to travel by car to the festival, please make use of on-street parking, Falaise Fitness Centre car park or Summerfields Leisure Centre car park.
Sanctuary Festival Comedy Special (25 June, 7pm - 10pm) at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery
Come along to the Sanctuary Festival Comedy Special for an evening of laughs. Enjoy some of the freshest comedy talent around and bid for some unique items and promises at the auction too. Featuring MC, Tim Crook from Hastings' legendary Bavard Bar Line up, Tom Mayhew, Nick Elleray, VG Lee, and Lauren Douglin.
More information on the Sanctuary Festival and events at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery can be found at www.hmag.org.uk/refugee-week-2022.
Cllr Andy Batsford, lead councillor for Health and Culture, said:
"It is great to see so many excellent events happening at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, that really engage with the community and raise awareness of the difficulties faced by so many across the world.
"As a City of Sanctuary, we are proud to be such a welcoming place, building strong connections with those seeking refuge and those who have settled in Hastings, and now call it home. Refugee Week and the Sanctuary Festival really highlight the fantastic work carried out by so many across the town, who help to ensure that everyone is welcomed and included in our communities."
Polly Gifford, Sanctuary Festival organiser, and Co-Chair of Hastings Community of Sanctuary, added:
"This is the sixth year of the festival, and it is more important than ever to show our support for refugees and people seeking asylum. Despite the turmoil in parts of the world, and the increasingly difficult situation here in the UK, we can still make our communities places of welcome and safety - something Hastings does so well. We hope you'll join us at Hastings Museum to show your support and have a great day out."
Rossana Leal, Founder and Director, The Refugee Buddy Project, said:
"We are delighted to be coordinating this amazing selection of Refugee Week activities having spent the last two years with our activities mainly online, especially as this year marks 5 years since we set up the Project! We encourage everyone to grab a map from one of the participating galleries or shops, or our Community Café, and you'll be sure to find an event (or five) which suits you. We look forward to celebrating Hastings and St Leonards as a community of welcome, standing in solidarity with all people seeking refuge"
Hastings Borough Council is run by Labour and Green councillors working together following a Cooperation Agreement.