11 Refugee Festival Scotland events for art lovers

Refugee Festival Scotland showcases incredible New Scot’s talent and provides a platform for dialogue and understanding through the universal language of art.

Digital Content Volunteer, Mariia, picks eleven art events from this year’s lineup, designed to inspire, educate, and connect people from all walks of life. From thought-provoking exhibitions to hands-on workshops, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So, get ready to explore, create, and celebrate at Refugee Festival Scotland!

1. Monuments for the Present

When: 7-23 June, Tues-Sat, from 11am-6pm

Where: Centre for Contemporary Art, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

This open-ended project by the Museum of Things Art Group at Maryhill Integration Network challenges the narratives of national identity and public monuments in the UK. Through collaborative exhibitions, explore how temporal experience intersects with social and structural inequalities, paving the way for new forms of representation. No registration required.

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2. New Scots Portraits by Angela Catlin

When: 11-29 June, Mon-Sat, from 9am-5pm

Where: Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow

Award-winning photojournalist Angela Catlin captures the resilience, pride, and hope of refugees across Scotland in this heart-warming portrait collection. This exhibition, commissioned by Scottish Refugee Council, is open to all to drop in.

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3. Rise2gether

When: 14-23 June

Where: The Art Department, Causeyside Street, Paisley

Head over to Paisley Shopping Centre for this fantastic exhibition of handcrafted banners stitched by local communities as part of a refugee awareness raising and community engagement programme. Sewing2gether All Nations will be unveiling their ‘Aye Welcome Refugees’ paisley pattern inspired banner. It can be viewed alongside creations by Accord Hospice, Highpark Primary School, Mossvale Primary School and Sew Fabulous Castlemilk.

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4. Collective Resonance

  • Launch event – 15 June, 6-8pm
  • 16 June from 11.30am-4pm
  • 17 June from 11am-4pm

Where: The Deep End,21 Nithsdale Street, Glasgow

Govanhill Baths Community Trust presents a multidisciplinary art project that amplifies voices on themes of identity and activism through visual art and music. Dive into cultural narratives and shared experiences that celebrate diversity and promote social integration. No registration required.

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5. THE UN-BROKEN THREAD Exhibition / НЕСКІНЧЕННА НИТКА – КОД НАЦІЇ

When: 16-21 June, from 11am-4pm

Where: V&A Dundee, 1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee

Join Space Arts Scotland and a group of Ukrainian embroiderers to celebrate the art of Vyshyvanka (traditional embroidered shirts). Witness the beauty and sacred messages woven into garments and fabrics, symbolizing resilience and unbroken cultural threads.

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6. Rise

When: 17-22 June, from 10am-12pm and 1-4pm each day

Where: The Press, High Street, Dumfries

RISE is a celebration of Dumfries’ diverse cultural community, featuring creative writing and art installations produced by refugees and people seeking asylum. Organized by MOOL, this exhibition offers a personal and collective reflection on the journeys of its participants.

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7. Building Peace Together

When: 17-23 June from 9.30am-3pm each day

Where: Dalgety Parish Church, Regents Way, Dalgety Bay

Visit Dalgety Parish Church in Fife for the chance to see an exhibition of photographs taken by members of the church’s Ukrainian Group. There will also be a Peace Labyrinth to walk, and an opportunity to light a candle to add to a peace cairn.

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8. Jewellery Making to Inspire and Empower

Learn the basics of jewellery making at this series of hands-on workshops by Vanilla Inc. Wax carve a unique piece of jewellery, create your own silver ring, make a whirlpool pendant or dive into the art of enamelling as you learn how to add colour and pattern to metal. Suitable for ages 16+.

Tickets are available on a sliding scale and are free for refugees and people seeking asylum.

Wax carve a silver ring or pendant

Make a silver ring

  • When: 18 June, 10am-12pm or 2-4pm
  • Where: Vanilla Ink, 60 Brook St, Bridgeton, Glasgow

Make a whirlpool pendant

  • When: 19 June, 10am-12pm or 2-4pm
  • Where: Vanilla Ink, 60 Brook St, Bridgeton, Glasgow  

Create enamel jewellery

  • When: 19 June, 10am-12pm or 2-4pm
  • Where: Refuweegee, 249 West George St, Glasgow  

9. RISING IN HARMONY

When: 19 June, 10.30-4.30pm

Where: Many Studios, 3 Ross Street, Glasgow

Join The Sound Lab for a day of creative arts inspired by the Palestinian resistance movement. Engage in activities like screen printing, song-writing, and poetry, and explore the rich tapestry of our collective cultures.

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10. Afghan Folktale and Arabic calligraphy

When: 22 June from 11am-2pm

Where: Spectrum Centre, 1B Margaret Street, Inverness

Led by Afghan and Syrian communities, this workshop features interactive Afghan storytelling and an introduction to Arabic calligraphy. Suitable for all ages, this is a unique opportunity to explore cultural experience through art and narrative.

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11. Myth Busters World Cafe

When: 22 June from 2-3.30pm

Where: University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy Centre, Bistro Square, Edinburgh

Everyone is welcome to share knowledge, explore new ideas and bust unhelpful myths and stereotypes about refugees and people seeking asylum. Enjoy tea, biscuits and stimulating conversation and watch as your thoughts are transformed into an eye-catching piece of visual art.

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