Festival 2023 Artist: Mousa AlNana

You may have noticed the beautiful and vibrant visual designs that have been appearing across our Refugee Festival Scotland website and social media channels. Syrian artist Mousa AlNana, known for his bold and colourful graphic designs and illustrations, created our wonderful artwork for this year’s festival.  We caught up with Mousa to find out more about his inspiration for his design. 

What inspired your design for Refugee Festival Scotland 2023? 

“The theme for this year is HOPE and I was inspired by the sun as a global element for hope, a new start and better tomorrow. The sun is the source of life and with life comes hope. Even before the emergence of modern humans, our ancestors would have looked up into the sky and seen this bright yellow circle, bringing warmth and safety. The design is centred around a sun with people celebrating around it, dancing with joy, hope, and optimism. I incorporated the nature element to portray a sunrise where there is always a new start. The sense of youth and innocence in the design represents our young people who are the hope for a better future where we all can live in harmony. I decided not to approach the design of the sun quite literally, but I choose the circle shape with a bright yellow and layer it to give us depth and a 3D illusion to represent the light at the end of the tunnel.”

What do you hope people will take away from your design? 

“I hope people look at the design and feel a bit of joy and happiness. I hope it gives them some optimism about tomorrow and hope for a better future. I hope my design helps in one way or another to change the stigma about refugees and link the refugee communities in Scotland with the hope they bring.” 

What does it mean to you to be involved in Refugee Festival Scotland? 

“Refugee Festival Scotland celebrates refugees and acknowledges their existence in the most honourable way, and as a refugee myself, I feel it is celebrating me and acknowledging me as part of this community. That’s why it is always a pleasure to be part of it and part of the celebration.”  


Refugee Festival Scotland 2023 runs from 16 – 25 June. Check out what’s on where you are! 


More about Mousa 

Mousa recently featured in BBC Scotland’s Loop where he shared his story of his escape from war in Syria and how he helps welcome new Scots, including refugees and asylum seekers, to Glasgow. Watch to find out more about the Glasgow-based Syrian Artist.