Late Night Exchange: World Refugee Day

Thursday 20th June

The Exchange: 3 Centenary Square Birmingham B1 2DR


Free Event

This special Late event marks World Refugee Day to learn more about the experience of refugees, honour the contributions that refugees have made to their communities and advocate for the rights and protection of refugees worldwide.

  • Live music from Birmingham-based Congolese singer, songwriter Didier Kisala.
  • Photographs captured by Birch Network service users, showcasing their unique perspective of the city.
  • Members of Stories of Hope and Home will share their lived experiences as people seeking sanctuary.
  • BOSA (‘barefoot’ in Croatian), a gentle immersive performance and audio experience exploring the rituals of settling in.

Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham

Short introduction about Celebrating Sanctuary's year round activities and co-ordination of the Refugee Week Festival.  Performance by Congolese musician Didier Kisala.

Didier Kisalanull - is a singer/songwriter and founder member of Birmingham-based Congolese band The Redeemed.  His music reflects his heritage and a broad range of influences, including Rumba, Sebene, Zouk, Jazz, Gospel and more. Bringing beautiful and soulful vocal performances to his acoustic sets and collaborations with many internationally acclaimed artists.

BIRCH Network: 

Exhibition of photography (6.30 – 8.30pm) 

Photographs will be the work of asylum seekers in Birmingham on the theme of 'It Makes Me Happy', and the 20 artists will be there with their work to meet, greet and chat with the public.

*Visiting public are politely requested to be sensitive and respectful in their conversations.

Stories of Hope and Home - is a community of people with lived experience of seeking sanctuary who come together to explore and share their stories. They will perform some spoken word pieces, on the theme "Love is a Rebellion" linked to their upcoming performance at Birmingham REP in July.


This publication features a selection of work made in collaboration with asylum seekers and refugees resident in one of Birmingham’s government assigned hotels.

Throughout 2023 conversations and workshops took place with men from the hotel, inviting participants to take part in photographic activities, including large and medium format, digital cameras, collage and Ai technology. Portraits were co-created and Ai images produced reflecting on the men's experiences, journeys and future.

The participants left their home countries for many reasons including fleeing war and religious persecution. Those who took part shared their experiences of stories fragmented by conditions, time and fear, and of years of struggle seeking sanctuary. Some wanting to remain anonymous through fear of consequences.  

The title was taken from a conversation and represents brotherhood, family, understanding and camaraderie. This publication aims to raise awareness and invites the audience to reflect on people’s lives with care and compassion.

With thanks to everyone who took part and shared their story. This publication is dedicated to them and all those who they represent.
Workshops were led by Anu Gamanagari, Dan Burwood, Mark Murphy and Stephen Burke. With thanks to Chris Neophytou, John Tipper, Mohamed Somji and Nicola Shipley.

GRAIN Projects were commissioned by Birmingham Museums Trust, with the support of Refugee Action and Birmingham City University.

Event in partnership with Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham, Birmingham Community Hosting Network (BIRCH), Stories of Hope and Home, and Notnow Collective.

For more information and booking click here

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Supported by Arts Council England & Foyle Foundation.