Bristol Refugee Festival

The annual Bristol Refugee Festival  which runs from 15 – 21 June will be going digital this year – and inviting participants to get creative at home.

The festival, which usually includes a large Celebrating Sanctuary event in Queens Square, aims to celebrate and value the contribution of refugee and asylum seekers to the city. 

This year it has adapted to the coronavirus pandemic by producing an online programme ranging from music, film and art exhibitions to dance, cookery and talks. 

Festival directors Jules Olsen and Danny Vincent are asking people to be creative and “imagine a world where…” by writing a poem, song or story – or drawing a picture to display at home in your windows and share them using the hashtag #ImagineBristol.

They say: “We felt that now more than ever it was important to stay connected, to support each other and to share the incredible ways that people have helped each other in these unprecedented times.

“We hope the theme of “imagine” will connect with many who are also having to imagine new ways of living.”

The festival is launching on Sunday 14 June at 2pm with archive performances by two festival favourites – Iranian singer Bahman Salahshour and Cecilia Ndholvu-Edwards with her Zimbabwean band Bulawayo, at the Celebrating Sanctuary events at Queen Square – introduced by the artists themselves. 

The event has been funded by Bristol City Council and Arts Council England. Organisers are asking people to donate to Borderlands community fundraising appeal for refugees affected by Covid-19.

For more information and a full line up visit: