Celebrating Refugee Week 2022

Refugee Week 2022 runs from 20 to 26 June. It’s a festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

The theme of Refugee Week this year is ‘Healing’. Through creativity and conversations, Refugee Week 2022 aims to be a celebration of community, mutual care, and the human ability to start again.

Healing means recovering from a painful experience or situation, so that we can continue to live. No-one understands this better than those who have lost their homes and had to build new lives from scratch.

Councillor Steph Powell, co-chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee said: “Refugee Week is a chance to recognise and celebrate the resilience, determination and skills brought to the city by those arriving here after long dangerous journeys.  

“We are proud of our long history of solidarity and welcome for refugees in Brighton & Hove. We’ve seen it again this year in the vital support given by our communities to those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

“This year’s theme of healing tells us we have much to learn from refugees about holding onto hope when going on seems impossible – as well as about how art, creativity and community can help us to heal.”

Refugee week with Brighton & Hove libraries

Brighton & Hove Libraries are hosting a programme of cultural events, topical discussions and information sharing to celebrate and raise awareness of Refugee Week.

Libraries have worked with guest programmers Luqman Temitayo Onikosi and Sara Alsherif whose contributions have been important in reflecting those seeking sanctuary and have shaped this year’s offer.

Themed collections for all ages will be highlighted through the week in our libraries and online displays. Information about Refugee Week and events happening across the city will be available to pick up from Jubilee Library foyer from 20 to 24 June.  

On Sunday 26 June, members of the Ukrainian community will be at Jubilee Library to share information about Ukraine and answer questions.

UK Rwanda migration plan: What does it mean for the Refugee Convention?

Panel discussion. Sunday 19 June 12 noon to 1.30pm, Jubilee Library conference hall

The UK is portrayed as one of the countries in the western world that is most fair, friendly, and welcoming to asylum seekers, refugees, and precarious migrants.

Activists, a thinker, and a newly arrived asylum seeker will address the questions - How does the UK in fact treat forced migrants? Who really supports them? And what must be done?

Panellists: Selma James, Global Women Against Deportation; Diana, a newly arrived Kenyan refugee; and Dr Jacob Berkson, Thousand for Thousand.

Book your free ticket in advance on Eventbrite or drop-in on the day.

Diala Brisly Illustrating Hope

Solo art exhibition produced in collaboration with The Socially Engaged Art SalonMonday 20 to Saturday 25 June Jubilee Library main windows

Born in Kuwait in 1980 to Syrian parents, Diala Brisly is a visual artist who grew up in Damascus. Following the outbreak of the Syrian war, she participated in the uprising against the Assad regime and had to flee to Turkey and then to Lebanon. There, she started working with ‘tent schools’, painting murals and holding art therapy workshops at refugee camps across the country.

Diala has been using her art to confront her own trauma from the war in Syria and to defend the human rights of others. Her art practice is concentrated on the devastating experiences of children and adults in war zones, and the scarring effects on them in exile.

Storytime for pre-school children and their parents and carers

Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22 & Thursday 24 June at 10.15am Jubilee Library children’s area

We extend a warm welcome to all families to join us for these storytime sessions celebrating diversity and inclusion. On Tuesday library staff will be joined by Sara Alsherif with stories read in Arabic and English.

Free drop-in - no need to book.

Sand Art Workshop with Momodou Saine

Tuesday 21 June 3.30 to 4.30pm, Whitehawk Library

Join sand paint artist Momodou (AKA sandman) and have fun creating. Originally from the Gambia, in his childhood Momodou developed a technique of painting using sand of different colours.

Free drop-in - no need to book. Refreshments provided.

The Network of International Women

Wednesday 22 June 10am to 12 noon Jubilee Library community space

You're invited to bring in your favourite poems to share and read aloud in your home language.

The Network of International Women provides a platform for women from different cultures and backgrounds to meet, share experiences and knowledge, and to support one another. Meet to sew, knit, craft, and make friends.

Free women’s drop in.

Our Common Threads – Artist Bern O’Donoghue reflects on the theme of Healing

Wednesday 22 June 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2 to 4.30pm
Thursday 23 June 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2 to 5pm
Jubilee Library ground floor

Through language, embroidery, clothing and everyday items, Our Common Threads considers what we might learn from people on the move and explores what we might have in common with those amongst us who are displaced and seeking sanctuary.

Sewing the words of asylum seekers, former refugees, advocates and campaigners on their clothes, Bern reflects on Healing. Drop in to chat or bring an everyday item of your own clothing to embroider and celebrate community, mutual care and the human ability to start again.

Free - all welcome.

Storytime for pre-school children and their parents and carers

Wednesday 22 June 10.15am Hove Library children’s area

We extend a warm welcome to all families to join us for this storytime session celebrating diversity and inclusion.

Free drop-in - no need to book

Refugee & Asylum Seekers - The process of applying: Expectations and Challenges

Thursday 23 June 12 noon to 4pm Jubilee Library conference hall.

12 noon to 1.30pm - join experienced legal professionals Madeleine Kelleher, Iain F. Palmer and Jo Wilding for an advice panel on claiming asylum, and refugee status, the asylum process, what they need to prove and access to legal advice.

1.45 to 4pm - 1-2-1 legal advice clinic, private 15-minute sessions with lawyers.

Free drop-in - no need to book. Refreshments provided.

Sky between my teeth: Creative writing workshop for migrants

Friday 24 June 11am to 4pm & Saturday 2 July 11am to 4pm (with an hour lunch)
Jubilee Library conference room 3 

Interested in creative writing? Never feel represented in what you read? Informal and fun, these sessions for adults give you the essential tools for creative writing.

Georgina Aboud & Akila M Richards will look at the fundamentals of storytelling, creating a real-life character and dialogue, read extracts from published writers, and, of course, write!

People from a migrant or international background are invited to take part. There are two sessions, and you are invited to book for one or both.

Maybe you are already writing, or you just fancy giving it a go, all levels from complete beginners to more experienced writers are welcome! Your English doesn’t need to be perfect, but a good understanding is needed (helpful) to ensure you get the most from the workshops.

Free - please book your place in advance on the Creative Future website.

Women’s Belly Dancing Workshop with Sara Alsherif

Friday 24 June 12 noon to 1.30pm Hangleton Library

Open to women and those who identify as a woman.

Join Sara for this fun dance workshop suitable for all abilities and explore the art of belly dancing. Please wear comfortable clothing. Feel good, feel positive. Bring a bottle of water and we will provide the dance scarves.

Free - please book your place in advance on Eventbrite.

Printed Postcards for Peace workshop with East Side Print

Saturday 25 June 10.30am to 1pm Whitehawk Library

Join East Side Print for this workshop creating printed postcards on the theme of Hope and Peace. Print two postcards, one to keep and one to give to a new friend or neighbour who might be in need of some friendship.

Free, drop in. Suitable for all ages.

Global Music Event with Best Foot Music and Hopeful Solidarities

Saturday 25 June 12 noon to 4pm Jubilee Library main hall

Libraries are working with Best Foot Music and Hopeful Solidarities to bring you performances from Polina Shepard & the Brighton & Hove Yiddish choir, Bashir Al Gamar, Jamal & Alaa and special guests Dina, Polina, Bella and solo artist Yulya Fytsalo sharing Ukrainian songs.

Tasty food from Syria, Sudan & Ethiopia available for a suggested donation.

Free, all welcome.

The Universality of It All film screening

Sunday 26 June 2pm Jubilee Library conference hall – suitable for adults only

The Universality of It All directed by Andrés Bronnimann is a feature-length documentary focused on the topics of human migration and inequality. 

The film is as intimate, as it is informative. It explains the complexity of human migration by providing valuable data and information, but also by showing how it affects the reality of two friends and their day-to-day lives.

The filmmaker tells the story of his best friend Emad, a Yemeni refugee living in Vancouver, Canada, and by doing so, he ends up arriving to a profound realisation about the interconnectedness of all the major events of the 21st century.

Please be aware this film contains some violent scenes which some may find disturbing.

Free, adults only. Free popcorn offered on a first come, first served basis.

Book your free ticket in advance on EventBrite or drop in on the day.

Library of Sanctuary

Jubilee Library is proud to be a 'Library of Sanctuary', a diverse community space where everyone can feel welcome and included and connect with others.

The ‘Libraries of Sanctuary’ initiative has been set up recognise good practice of libraries which welcome people seeking sanctuary and other new arrivals into their community and seek to foster a culture of welcome and inclusivity.

It’s overseen by City of Sanctuary UK, who support a nationwide network to build a culture of welcome for people seeking sanctuary and promote understanding, recognition and celebration of the ways in which people seeking sanctuary enrich society.

For more information on any of the events, please contact libraries@brighton-hove.gov.uk or call 01273 290 800.

Related news