Leicester’s Town Hall Square will host a celebration for Refugee Week on 18th June 2016. The event will run from 11am until 4pm and will bring people together from all walks of life and diversities, in order to celebrate the contribution that refugees have made, and continue to make in Leicester and the rest of Britain. Refugee week also aims to encourage a better understanding between communities.
The free event will feature live performances throughout the day from both musicians and dancers which includes the likes of; Afro Kubanza, the Marimba Players and Red Leicester Choir, plus many more. The day will also include poetry and art, where artists will set up an installation in which they turn one gold and one silver emergency blanket into flags. These flags will be flown from makeshift posts in the square.
Journalist and writer, Ambrose Musiyiwa said: “The installation fits in with the theme of Refugee Week 2016 because the blankets are often the first welcome people receive after their journeys across the sea.
“We will be flying the gold and silver emergency blankets because these are the two colours emergency relief workers and volunteers give to people when they are rescued at sea or when they reach Europe’s shores.
“Through the installation we are also calling on governments in Europe to do more to ensure that the passage across the sea is made as safe as possible for people seeking refuge.”
The installation takes inspiration from the “Flag for No Nations”, a temporary installation by James Bridle that was set up at Ellinikón in Greece in January 2016; and also by social media reports that Leoluca Orlando, the mayor of Palermo, ordered space blanket to be flown as a flag next to the Italian and Sicilian flags on the balcony of the Town Hall, as a symbol of welcome and solidarity with migrants.
Refugee Week started in 1998 in reaction to the hostility in the media and society towards refugees and asylum seekers. Refugee Week is now one of the leading national initiatives working to counter this negative climate, defending the importance of sanctuary and the benefits it can bring to both refugees and host communities.
For more information about Refugee Week visit: www.refugeeweek.org.uk