Bristol Refugee Festival Releases Packed Programme!


BRISTOL REFUGEE FESTIVAL launches in style on 6th June at the Malcolm X Centre in St Pauls. The event will take place between 6-8pm, with music, food and activities, a chance to find out more about the programme and learn more about the work of the Bristol Refugee and Asylum Seeker partnership (BRASP).

This year the theme ‘Healing Through Community’ seeks to encourage deeper community understanding and connection.

The 2022 programme returns to live events across the city to suit all tastes and ages including peace feasts, dance workshops, and the much-loved Our City Cup football tournament making a welcome return after a 2-year hiatus. There is also a family theatre show, a crafts drop-in and a ceilidh dance. M-Shed will host a spotlight loan from the British Museum for the exhibition Crossings: Community and Refuge; a harbour boat ride with storytelling and music; and Bristol Refugee Arts Collective (BRAC) join forces with UWE art students for an exhibition and workshops.

Sherien, a volunteer BRF Ambassador, said: “The refugee festival shows a lot of support for refugees, makes them feel welcomed and like they belong. For my part, I wait for a celebration every year, to see the variety of cultures and their reflections on each other. Knowing different customs, tasting different foods, sharing and displaying popular clothes. Participating in all these things creates a beautiful spirit among people, increases their knowledge of each other and reduces their sense of alienation. It makes us closer and increases mutual respect. People get to know new people and the celebration brings them together in joy and pleasure.”

The Festival is also pleased to be expanding the citywide ‘Celebrating Sanctuary Local’ programme, after the success of last year’s smaller, community-run gatherings. There are at least 10 local community-led events this year including events at Page Park, Eastville Park, The Greenway centre, a Tibetan day at St. Werburghs Community Centre, and a  Latin-American party at St. Pauls Learning Centre to name but a few.

Director Jules Olsen says: ”The theme of ‘healing’ connects us with the national Refugee Week theme, but in Bristol we wanted to emphasise the importance of community in that process. Last year, adapting our programme to covid restrictions, we learnt that smaller intimate spaces are ideal for nurturing connections and  connecting with others on a personal level leads to more meaningful conversations and greater understanding. We are therefore really excited that so many communities have been ready and willing to be involved in creating spaces of welcome and celebration with refugees and asylum seekers.”

The full programme is now online at 

The team would be delighted if supporters would consider a donation so they can continue this vital work to create places of welcome and strengthen our communities,  Visit the Bristol Refugee Festival Local Giving page to donate. 

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