A huge thank you to Bristol Refugee Festival for sharing the information below. We can’t wait for the festival this year, celebrating connection and looking at Healing Through Community.
The much-loved Bristol Refugee Festival is back with live events running from 6-26th June. The Festival, now in its 6th year, promotes better understanding of those seeking sanctuary and celebrates their contributions. This year, the theme of ‘Healing Through Community’ looks to inspire connection, integration and community-cohesion. Events of all sizes will bring people together through food, music, sport, education and conversation.
Director Jules Olsen says: “Healing means becoming sound or healthy again. This process is much easier with support and care from others. We have all experienced injury or loss at some point and know how important family, friends and neighbours are in helping to ease the pain. Refugees and asylum seekers arriving in the UK have lost those strong networks and connections. They need help to build new ones so they can feel welcome, safe and valued, and begin to heal.
This year’s Festival will help to create strong, inclusive and welcoming communities across Bristol. Bristol Refugee Festival wants to ensure everyone feels welcome in Bristol, no matter where they are from.”
The BRF team are thrilled to be back delivering live events on the ground and, if last year’s Festival is anything to go by, a dynamic programme will be on offer.
A key focus this year will be on community-led gatherings, under the ‘Celebrating Sanctuary Local’ banner. No event is considered too small: “Although restrictions were still in force last year we learnt that smaller intimate spaces are ideal for nurturing connections,” says Jules. “Connecting with others on a personal level leads to more meaningful conversations and greater understanding. With this in mind we have decided to concentrate on celebrating with all our fantastic and diverse communities around the city, and to defer our big central celebration for a future festival.”
There’s still plenty of time to get involved: from organising your own event or celebration, to inviting new neighbours in for coffee, or turning up to a programmed event. Toolkits are available on the Bristol Refugee Festival website to help with ideas and planning, along with ways to donate for anyone inspired to support this vital work supporting vulnerable community members and strengthening our communities.
A full programme will be available soon. Sign up to their newsletter or follow Bristol Refugee Festival on social media for updates.