AUDIENCES will be “inspired and uplifted” as this year’s Refugee Festival Scotland focuses on the role art plays in rebuilding lives, organisers say.
More than 100 events will take place across the country as the annual event returns for 10 days next month, reflecting the growing diversity of the population and the talents of people who have sought refuge here.
The programme, which includes poetry, dance, visual art and public installation, centres around the theme “making art, making home”.
Soizig Carey, producer of Refugee Festival Scotland, said: “The whole point of our festival is about opening up doors and creating opportunities for people from different backgrounds to meet and get to know each other. It’s a really positive celebration of the skills, talents and creativity of people making their homes and rebuilding their lives in Scotland.
“The festival gives audiences the chance to say welcome to people who have recently arrived in Scotland and to be part of a positive movement of friendship and solidarity with people seeking safety here.
“This year’s programme is bursting with creativity and we’re convinced audiences will leave feeling inspired and uplifted.”
Amal, from Syria, was amongst those taking part in the festival launch. She said: “With two kids, it has been difficult to build my life again after leaving everything behind. I was broken when I arrived but I was lucky and got a job at Glasgow University as a research assistant, which has helped connect me with many other people.”
Her compatriot Marwa said: “What makes Scotland special is its people. I have never felt like I am a stranger here. I’m hoping to go into journalism, and I want to be a spokesperson for refugees or a news reporter in my country one day.”