Library of Birmingham to turn orange for World Refugee Day & March for Compassion planned

A whole host of events are being planned in Birmingham - a proud City of Sanctuary - for Refugee Week. Full details here
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The Library of Birmingham will be turning orange tonight (Tuesday, June 20) to mark World Refugee Day - with a March for Compassion due to take place through the city centre on Saturday.

Birmingham is home to refugees from across the world, including those from Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine. It is both a City of Compassion and a City of Sanctuary - and as such Brummies celebrate the diversity, creativity and resilience of refugees.

The theme for this year’s campaign is compassion and there are a host of grass roots events taking place through the week, supported by Birmingham City Council’s Refugee and Migration team - who run projects which welcome and support people seeking asylum, refugees and migrants in our city - and their partners at Celebrating Sanctuary.

The March for Compassion through Birmingham city centre is among the events that will finish the week. It will start at 10.15am outside Waterstones and finish at Centenary Square where there will be a Communities get-together for Compassion featuring live music, dance and poetry on stage.

Full details of all the events still to take place here:

Late Night Exchange: World Refugee Day Tuesday June 20 - 6:00-9:00pm The Exchange3 Centenary Square, Birmingham B1 2DR

Talks, performances, films and drop-in activities to learn more about the experience of refugees, honour the contributions that refugees have made to their communities and advocate for the rights and protection of refugees worldwide. Includes:

  • A panel discussion chaired by Professor Nando Sigon, Stories of Hope and Home, individuals with lived experience who have sought sanctuary in Birmingham
  • Nahal Music Group of migrant children led by Sara Teymouri
  • A Viewing of “Not a single safe place”, a series of powerful films featuring testimony from survivors in Ukraine and Poland
  • Music from Zimbabwean musician - Millicent Chapanda

Writing workshop with Anthony Anaxagorou 20 June 2023, 12.00-15.00 Centre for Migration and Forced DisplacementAston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET

This is a free, invite-only writing workshop with the poet Anthony Anaxagorou. Participants will take part in a creative writing workshop led by Anthony and themed around migration. The participants are a mix of academics, students and people of refugee backgrounds. For more information please contact: [email protected]

Little Amal makes her first visit to Birmingham city centreLittle Amal makes her first visit to Birmingham city centre
Little Amal makes her first visit to Birmingham city centre

Live at B:Eats for Refugee Week Symphony Hall – B:Eats Cafe Inside the International Convention Centre, Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EA

In the lead up to our Refugee Week Takeover event on Saturday June 24, the venue is putting on tw great musicians during the week at B:Eats Cafe in the Foyer at Symphony Hall

In Her Shoes - Creative Journeys Project Thursday June 22, 10.30am -12.30pm (with lunch from 12.30-1.30) Moseley Exchange149-153 Alcester Rd, Birmingham B13 8JP

A celebration of a Creative Journeys project in which songs created with women in Birmingham will be shared as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival in a celebration workshop. The songs have been re-imagined with over 40 diverse women and guest musicians who have brought new rhythms, beats and styles of music. In Her Shoes musicians Ann Jones and Katy Bennett will be supported by Joelle Barker on drums. This will be a fun, lively and moving way to spend your Thursday morning!

This project is supported by Birmingham City Council Arts Commissioning as part of the Legacy 2022 funding and is free to attend. The organisers said: “This is a women only event -Book a Space Here and share with any women you feel would like to attend. Donations welcome to support the on-going work of In Her Shoes.”

My Birmingham - Birch Network Photography Exhibition and event Thursday June 22 - 4:00-8.30pm. Centrala Unit 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley St, Birmingham B5 5RT

An exhibition of photographs by Birch Network service users will be displayed with the photographers present to engage the public in conversations prompted by the work. There will be interpreters on hand to help with conversations.  With live music from ‘In her Shoes’, singing songs written by refugee women. Plus activities and refreshments

Free Jazz Friday for Refugee Week Symphony Hall’s Jennifer Blackwell SpaceInside the International Convention Centre, Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EA Friday June 23 - 5:00-6.30pm

Celebrating Sanctuary are teaming up with B:Music and Free Jazz Friday as part of a Refugee Week Festival, to present an international collaboration between Congolese musicians Niwel Tsumbu and Didier Kisala with pianist Dr Steve Tromans. Free event Booking essential - please Book Tickets Here

In The Shadow of the Trees By: Stories of Hope and Home Friday June 23 - 7:00pm The Door, Birmingham Rep Centenary Square, B1 2EP

Written and performed by members of Stories of Hope and Home, "In The Shadow of the Trees" is based on our personal stories of seeking sanctuary. It uses the trees that have been the backdrop for our stories to explore memories of the places left behind, the places passed through on the journey, and the places where we are gradually finding a new home and creating dreams for the future. To find out more about Stories of Hope and Home please follow This Link

March for Compassion Saturday June 24 - 10.15am Birmingham City CentreMeeting at Waterstones 10:00am

March to Birmingham’s Get-together for Compassion in Centenary Square. A walk through Birmingham city centre to show our solidarity with refugees and people seeking asylum. Organisers say refugeesare welcome and ask participants to bring their own placards

Refugee Week Symphony Hall Takeover Symphony Hall’s Jennifer Blackwell Space Inside the International Convention Centre, Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EA Saturday, June 24 - 10:00am – 5.30pm

Join Iyengar yoga teacher Julie Baker in the iconic Main Auditorium of Symphony Hall, for an organic yoga session on the stage. Accompanied by live music from Mbira player and singer Millicent Chapanda and Tabla player Mendi Mohinder Singh. For more information and booking please visit Yoga with live music in the Main Auditorium  10:00 - 11:00am       Booking Essential 

Live Music from around the world In the Jennifer Blackwell Space 2:00-5:00pm

  • Melisa Yıldırım & Swarupa Ananth (Anatolia / India) - 2.15
  • Nifeco Costa & Babock Djazz (Guinea Bissau) - 3.05
  • Krar Collective (Ethiopia) – 4pm

Information stalls, arts and crafts For more information please follow The Link

Birmingham Communities get-together for Compassion Saturday June 24 11:00am – 2:00pm Centenary Square

BCC is holding a city centre event to celebrate Refugee Week. A professional stage will feature world music from Celebrating Sanctuary, and music, song, dance and poetry that celebrates the diverse cultures of Birmingham. A market area will provide stalls with information about asylum and migration, and other wellbeing services and organisations in the city.

The event will be compered by Amerah Saleh (who performed at the CWG) and will include performances from Congolese, Arabic, Ukrainian, Kurdish, Roma, Bulgarian and Slovak musicians and dancers; a Chinese Lion dance; spoken word from Amerah Saleh; and the Birmingham City Council Choir will make this a party not to be missed. CSB Present performances from:

  • Iryna Muha
  • Didier Kisala & Niwel Tsumbu
  • Zirak Hamad and Daholl Kurdish Band

Congolese Independence Day event MAC – Cannon Hill Park Saturday, June 24 - 4:00 - 8:00pm

The Congolese Independence Day Celebration shines a light on the beautiful, diverse culture from theDemocratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Join an entertaining afternoon showcasing talent from the local Congolese community with music, dance and fashion. Line-up for the day includes Didier Kisala and Niwel Tsumbu. For more information and to Book Tickets, please visit Here

Black Country Type: PhotoWalk for Ukrainians Saturday June 24 12 - 2pm at Centrala Unit 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley St, Birmingham B5 5RT

In collaboration with Post-Socialist Britain? We have organised a PhotoWalk with Artist Tom Hicks for Ukrainians as part of Refugee Week, celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and those seeking sanctuary.

Black Country Type is a photography project led by Artist Tom Hicks and shared from his influential Instagram account @blackcountrytype. Through his photography, Tom applies his unique perspective to the region, focusing on words, typography, handmade lettering and signs. His photography also captures types of architectural features and buildings in the ever-evolving Black Country landscape.

Post-Socialist Britain?: Memory, Representation and Political Identity amongst German, Polish and Ukrainian Immigrants in the UK explore the connection between memory and identity in the context of migration with a particular focus on movers from Central, East and Southeast Europe and their integration into diverse communities. The project thinks about how the changes brought about by the end of the Cold War mean that Britain can itself be thought of as a “postsocialist” space.

This event will be a great space for you to come together and share your ideas as well as uncover Digbeths Heritage, and an opportunity to contribute your own stories to the work of Post-Socialist Britain. This Event is FREE for Everyone, please reserve your spaces now.

There will also be a follow-up feedback session on July 15, more information coming soon.

Face Front Theatre: The Hero Next Door by Onjali Q. Raúf  June 25 – shows at 2:30 & 5:00pm MAC – Cannon Hill Park

From the award-winning author of ‘The Boy At The Back Of The Class’, Onjali Raúf, ‘The Hero Next Door’ is a celebration of difference and working together to do the right thing.

This new play, based on real insight from children across the UK, was developed during extensive research as groups of children helped shape the plot and the characters. The result is a ground-breaking new production created especially for 7 – 10 year olds. The play explores the themes of friendship, empathy, and the notions of what it means to be an ‘outsider’.

Mac is delighted to confirm that Onjali Q Rauf, writer of The Hero Next Door, award-winning author of The Boy At The Back Of The Class and activist will be joining us to sign books and meet audiences AFTER the 5pm performance of The Hero Next Door as part of our Refugee Week events. For more information and to Book Tickets, please Visit Here