Nottingham City is home to a vibrant and diverse population that includes 65 refugee nationalities that have fled repressive regimes. Each individual and group offers a wealth of talent, skills and fresh ideas that contribute significantly to the economic and cultural life of the city.
Rather than demonising and excluding refugees and migrants we should recognise that each successive wave – from Ireland throughout the last century, and South Asia and the Caribbean since the 50s (to name but a few) – have touched us all, challenged our perceptions and enriched the whole of society.
Contrary to popular belief no one wants to be a refugee in a strange land, but sometimes people have to run from their homes because they are facing torture, imprisonment or even death. People who are persecuted are faced with no choice but to flee their countries, and only a tiny proportion of these people come to the UK.
Refugee Week is a UK wide festival that celebrates the great contribution made by refugees to UK life and promotes understanding of why people become refugees. Every year hundreds of arts, cultural and educational events are organised across the UK.
On Saturday 16th June, Refugee Action and other supporting organisations will be launching Refugee Week in Nottingham with balloons, posters and other promotional and myth busting material outside St Peters Church, St Peter’s Gate between 11am – 2pm.
SATURDAY 16TH JUNE LAUNCH PARTY
A festival of music, dance, theatre, talks, children’s art activities and food from around the world. Come and join the party for an afternoon and evening of entertainment.
Venue and time still to be confirmed. Watch out for the flyers. Contact Stuart on 07891 701133 or check out the websites for all our events:
Notts Refugee Forum
MONDAY 18TH JUNE – FRIDAY 22ND JUNE COMMUNITY
EXHIBITIONS / EVENTS
Tell It How It Is – The Truth About Asylum
Facts, images and stories that dispel the myths about refugees and asylum seekers living in the UK.
Blue Bell Hill Community Centre, Dennett Close 9am – 6pm
TRACS Neighbourhood Centre, Sneinton Hollows 10am – 5pm
Greenway Community Centre, Trent Lane 10am – 5pm
Bakersfield and Neighbourhood Community Centre 9am – 5pm
Sneinton Library Normal library opening times
Carlton Library Normal library opening times
St Ann’s Library Normal library opening times
Monday 18th June
Sneinton Hermitage Community Centre: Salsa class, spoken word & activities for all the family (children must be accompanied by an adult). 6pm – 8pm. Contact: 0115 950 4707
Tuesday 19th June
Sneinton Hermitage Community Centre: International cookery session 1pm – 3pm to make food for a ‘taster’ event in the evening at Sneinton Old School Hall at 7pm – 9pm. Contact Gill on 0115 950 1179.
Wednesday 20th June
Greenway Community Centre: Discussion for children, young people & adults led by Hajar Sadoon (Refugee Action). 6pm – 7.30pm. Contact Anne Fuller Jarmack on 0115 910 3667
SATURDAY 2ND JUNE FILM
Return to Kirkuk - A Year In The Fire (advised certificate12A) with English subtitles.
Director: Karzan Sherabayani.
Thirty years ago Saddam Hussein's secret police imprisoned and tortured 14-year old Karzan - his only crime was being Kurdish. In 2005, Karzan, now a British citizen, returns to his childhood home after 25 years in exile. Karzan will introduce his film and participate in a Q&A session after the screening.
Venue: Broadway Cinema
Tickets: Box Office 0115 952 6611 / www.broadway.org.uk
FRIDAY 8TH JUNE - SATURDAY 23RD JUNE EXHIBITION
Positivity is an exhibition celebrating both 50 years of support for refugees and the positive contributions that refugees & asylum seekers bring to the city of Nottingham.
The exhibition includes: ‘Positive Contributions’ a display by Refugee Support; a photographic display by young refugee and asylum seeking students organised by Roaming Pictures; artwork by Long Journey Home ‘artists in exile’; together with a display of children’s paintings and drawings.
Venue: 1st Floor, Central Library, Angel Row
Time: Library opening times
Contact: Fredi Chohan (Refugee Support) on 0115 988 7107 / fredi.chohan@ mht .co.uk
FRIDAY 15th JUNE – THURSDAY 28TH JUNE FILM
Grow Your Own (certificate to be confirmed)
Director: Richard Laxton
A refugee family are given a plot to help rehabilitate their traumatized father. At first they are met with suspicion by the people who have passionately worked the gardens for years, but eventually they are accepted into a diverse community united by their love of making things grow.
Introduction – Sunday 17th @ 8.15pm
Rebecca Beinart, co-ordinator of 'Putting Down Roots', an arts project exploring refugees' and asylum seekers' relationship to the land and agriculture. (see workshops on Sunday 24th June)
Venue: Broadway Cinema
Tickets: Box Office 0115 952 6611 / www.broadway.org.uk
MONDAY 18TH JUNE PERFORMANCE / FILM
Night >> Flight
Devised by a group of young people under the guidance of East Midlands based dance-theatre company FLYdance, this multi-media performance will take the audience on an emotional journey full of hope, pain, loss and humour. Based on true stories the performance explores issues of migration, displacement and the sense of belonging. So don’t delay - book your flight today!
Venue: Sandfield Theatre, Lenton
Contact: 0115 915 9542 / info.creativeroom@ yahoo .co.uk for tickets.
TUESDAY 19TH JUNE PUBLIC MEETING
The Case for Open Borders
Speaker: Teresa Hayter - writer, activist & author of ‘Open Borders’
Migration is the most politically charged issue in the UK today. On one side, the campaign to defend asylum rights: on the other, a policy of deterrence ~ destitution, detention and forced deportation. Refugee organisations call for the reform of the asylum system - for ‘humanitarian’ immigration controls that protect the rights of asylum seekers. For Teresa Hayter and other advocates of ‘open borders’, immigration controls are unjustified, ineffective and racist. This is a controversial view but Refugee Week is an ideal opportunity to discuss these issues.
Venue: The Square Centre, Alfred Street North
Contact: Rob on 07958 732450 / www.nottsrefugeeforum.org.uk
WEDNESDAY 20TH JUNE SEMINAR
Considerations when supporting the mental health and well-being of refugees and people seeking asylum. Speaker: Dr Charles Watters Director of The European Centre for the Study of the Social Care of Minority Groups and Refugees at the University of Kent
Venue: Life at The Centre, Nottingham Central & Bridgeway Hall Methodist Missions, 22 Lower Parliament Street NG1 3DA
Contact: Contact Margaret Dolan-Shaw to reserve a place. 0115 845 2525
margaret.dolan-shaw@ nottinghamcity-pct .nhs.uk
THURSDAY 21ST JUNE THEATRE
An account of the harsh realities of the UK asylum system told first-hand in the words of the people who have experienced it. Performed by Actors for Refugees and scripted by award-winning playwright and Artistic Director of Ice and Fire Theatre Company, Sonja Linden, it is an important and powerful work which features live music and different guest actors and musicians. For more information about Actors for Refugees www.iceandfire. co.uk/actorsforr efugees
Venue: Vine Community Centre, Bobbersmill Road, Hyson
Green, NG7 5GZ
Time: 7pm start
Contact: Hajar Sadoon – 0115 9415952 / 07810 637476
SATURDAY 23RD JUNE FAMILY ARTS PARTY
A fantastic afternoon of arts activities, food, music, things to make and take, face painting, fun photos, games, toys and more for all the family. Baby-changing mat available, space to feed babies, and lots of toys and games for children aged 0+. Everyone welcome. No need to book. A great opportunity to meet new friends. We look forward to welcoming you, your children and friends and hope you enjoy a relaxing, arty afternoon.
Venue: Angel Row Gallery, 1st Floor Central Library, Angel Row.
Time: 1pm – 4pm
Contact: 0115 915 2867
SUNDAY 24TH JUNE MUSIC WORKSHOP
Putting Down Roots – Life, Land, Music
A music workshop exploring our relationship with the land run by James & Gaylan who will be sharing songs & music from around the world. Free food & transport.
Venue: Eco-works, Hungerhill Allotments, St Anns. Transport from The Square Centre, Alfred Street North at 1pm
Time: 1pm – 5pm
Contact: Becky on 07963 505429 / rbeinart@ hotmail. com
URGENT APPEAL… URGENT APPEAL… URGENT APPEAL
The number of asylum seekers being made destitute and forced to live on the streets is increasing. The Destitution Fund, which was set up to provide basic food aid, is desperately in need of cash and volunteer help. If you wish to make a donation please send a cheque payable to ‘NNRF’ to The Treasurer, NNRF, The Square Centre, Alfred Street North, Nottingham NG3 1AA or contact 0115 941 5599 for more information. Membership forms are available on the website. Look out for standing order forms at many of the events.