Bringing together refugee artists, communities and Scotland’s arts and cultural organisations

Bringing together refugee artists, communities and Scotland’s arts and cultural organisations

Refugee Festival Scotland is now in full swing. Over 100 events are taking place across Scotland to celebrate the contribution people from refugee communities make to life here – the food and drink, music and poetry, art, dance, language and ideas that people bring with them when they settle in Scotland.

This year’s theme is MAKING ART, MAKING HOME and the festival showcases the work of a number of professional and emerging artists with refugee backgrounds.

A key goal of the festival programme is to offer people from different backgrounds the chance to meet and get to know each other better.

This year, Scottish Refugee Council has been working with Creative Scotland, Counterpoint Arts and the Centre for Contemporary Arts to bring refugee communities and artists together with those working in mainstream arts bodies and institutions across Scotland.

The Delegates Programme is a unique opportunity for Scottish arts and cultural organisations to explore and experience key artistic highlights of the festival as well as take part in dedicated development opportunities to consider how to engage with Scotland’s new communities and artists.

The Delegates Programme includes a number of events, many of which are also open to the public. Here’s what’s on as part of the programme this week:


Manaf Halbouni – Artist’s Talk, Monday 24 June 2019

7.00pm-8.00pm Brian Cox Theatre, Scottish Youth Theatre, Glasgow

Facilitated artist discussion with German-Syrian artist Manaf Halbouni whose sculpture, Rubble Theatre, recreates a scene of destruction in Syria, featuring the rubble of a bombsite and an abandoned car. More.


Cultural Sector Development Day (Invitation-only) | Wednesday 26 June

For artists, art organisations and cultural and community groups across Scotland interested in commissioning and programming work about migration and displacement and around the interconnected themes of cultural diversity.

The development day offers an opportunity to hear about and discuss international projects focusing on refugee and migrant experiences, plus the challenges and opportunities of forging new alliances.


Gesturing Refugees by Farah Saleh | Thursday 27 June 2019

(Public performance) 7.00-8.00pm Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow

UK premiere of contemporary dance performance created and choreographed by Palestinian dancer and choreographer, Farah Saleh. More. 


Artists’ Symposium | Thursday 27 June 2019

10.00-4.00pm Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow

Ten artists across a wide variety of artistic practices and with lived experience of seeking international protection share and discuss their work to stimulate discussion within the arts sector in Scotland. More.


Gary Christie, Head of Policy, Communications and Communities said: 

“Scotland’s diverse cultures are central to Scotland’s future, enriching all of our lives. Everyone in Scotland should have the opportunity to participate in or contribute to cultural life in Scotland.

The role that arts and culture play in bringing communities together has been a core aspect of the work of Scottish Refugee Council for over 30 years and we have been delighted to work with many arts, cultural and heritage organisations over that time.

This year’s Delegates Programme is a new venture and an exciting opportunity for publicly funded arts and cultural organisations in Scotland to meet with refugees and refugee communities during the festival, experience stimulating and thought-provoking work from refugee artists, and consider what steps they can take to engage with refugees as audiences and artists and refugee issues in their artistic and cultural programming.”




Maslows at The Glad: An International Evening

We caught up with singer Midya from Musicians in Exile, and Maslows Community Shop – Govan founder Carol Gilchrist about their event on Sun 23 June at The Glad Cafe as part of Refugee Festival Scotland. More event details here. #RefugeeFestScot