10 Things To Try For Refugee Week, 17-23 June

Different pasts, shared future. That’s the tag line for Refugee Week (17-23 June), which celebrates the contributions made by refugees to the UK. London is a cultural hub for the nationwide festival, now 21 years old. Here are 10 events that stood out, from a much, much larger programme.

1. Migrant boat and exhibition, King’s Cross

T06411, a rescued North African migrant boat, goes on public display on Regent’s Canal, King’s Cross for the whole of Refugee Week. Nearby, the Sink Without Trace exhibition displays work by 18 artists on the subject of migrant deaths at sea. The exhibition includes found objects from shipwrecked migrant boats in Sicily, anonymous drawings made on migrant boats and works made by unaccompanied minors in transit camps in Calais. P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, King’s Cross, FREE, just turn up, 13 June-13 July, noon-6pm

2. Giant Dolls’ House, Bethnal Green


The Museum of Childhood houses a very special exhibition for the duration of Refugee Week. A labyrinthine dolls house was put together by Syrian refugees. Each was given a shoe box and asked to dress it as a special place, a memory, or to tell their story. Visitors to the museum can do the same, and see the boxes displayed side by side and linked together into one giant house. V&A Museum of Childhood, FREE, just turn up, 14-23 June

3. Refugee Food Festival, across town

Five London restaurants welcome a refugee chef, who will put together a menu of dishes from their region of origin. Keep an eye on Ombra, Refettorio Felix at St Cuthbert’s, Mercato Metropolitano, Pique Nique and Breddos Tacos, who are all taking part in the initiative. 16-21 June

4. A Journey Through St Paul’s

The cathedral marks Refugee Week with a pilgrimage through its own spaces. Visitors pass through the church to view Am I My Brother’s Keeper, a UN High Commissioner for Refugees tent, reworked by artist Kate Daudy. Guests will then venture into the crypt for a series of musical and theatrical performances, including material from Rufus Hound. St Paul’s Cathedral, prebook, FREE, 17 June, 6-8pm

5. Ai Weiwei premiere, South Kensington

The London premiere of The Rest, a new film by artist Ai Weiwei, takes place at Ciné Lumière in South Kensington. The event is hosted by the Kensington and Chelsea Refugees Welcome Committee, which helps to find homes for refugees from Syria and elsewhere. The film offers ‘a poignant insight to Europe’s migrant crisis and explores the challenges faced by those newly arrived on Europe’s shores’. It’s followed by a panel discussion. £12, prebook, Ciné Lumière, 18 June, 6.30pm

6. Asylum Monologues, Bethnal Green

What’s it really like to be an asylum seeker in the UK? Ice&fire’s Actors for Human Rights project, Asylum Monologues, is a first-hand account of the UK’s asylum system in the words of people who have experienced it, read by actors. Catch it at St Margaret’s House, the hall behind the Gallery Cafe at 21 Old Ford Road. Donation entry (suggested £3-£5), just turn up, 18 June, 6.30-9.30pm

7. Stand-up comedy, Vauxhall

comedy club

Migration Museum at The Workshop has an evening of stand-up, headlined by Stefano Paolini. The comedians have all taken the No Direction Home course, which teaches stand-up skills to people from refugee or migrant backgrounds. Migration Museum at The Workshop, 26 Lambeth High Street, £5, prebook, 18 June, 7-9.30pm

8. Culture and creativity, Liverpool Street

A celebration of the culture and creativity that refugees bring to the UK from around the world takes place in Devonshire Square, near Liverpool Street. This wide-ranging event includes food from around the world by refugee chefs, live music, a display of new refugee-made artisan homeware and accessories, and much more besides. WeWork, Devonshire Square, FREE, just turn up, 20 June, 6-9pm

9. Windrush and Beyond, Greenwich

The National Maritime Museum has close ties to immigrant communities past and present. The museum celebrates the contribution of the Windrush Generation (and other immigrants) with a day of music, theatre, workshops, tours and much more. National Maritime Museum, FREE, just turn up, 22 June, 11-4pm

10. Explore Hackney Refugee Centre

Via Google Street View

You know that building on Dalston Lane with the large red cross? This local landmark is now the Hackney Refugee Centre. As part of Refugee Week, the centre opens its doors to anyone who would like to explore the building and learn about the remarkable work that takes place within. All with music, food and a warm welcome. 92 Dalston Lane, FREE, just turn up, 22 June, noon-3pm

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2019-06-14 16:05:00 – Source: londonist.com