CSB Refugee Week Festival 2020

CSB Refugee Week Programme 2020 - Imagine

Our first ever online Refugee Week festival, was a great success.  We were really excited to see the positive responses that we got to our programme of content.   It was important to us to to continue supporting and promoting the work of refugee and migrant artists. Also to share a range of artistic content, information and campaigns to a growing network of people.

Being online enabled us to reach wider networks and new audiences.  We made a real impact by setting up the Birmingham Refugee Week Facebook group, which grew in membership through the week to 350 people, many new to us, many from diverse backgrounds and a lot of young people.  Also activity on our own Facebook page grew and we increased to 900 likes through the week.  People really engaged with the content we shared through the week. 

Refugee Week Featured Artists

Profiles and Commissioned Works by 10 Featured Artists around the theme of "Imagine"


Didier Kisala (DR Congo) - Stay Together (Live recording)

Millicent Chapanda (Zimbabwe) - Rudekaro (Live recording)

Nifeco Costa (Guinea Bissau) - Alleluia - (Live recording)

Zirak Hamad - (Kurdistan) - Kas Nia (No One) - (Live recording)

Germa Adan - (Haiti) - An Nou Leve (Let's Get Up) (Live recording)

Ben Pathy (Angola) with Afro Mio - Nkondolo - (pre recorded music)

Hassan Salih Nour - (Sudan) with Ibrahim Disko on Drums - Al godear - (Live recording)

Poetry / Spoken Word:

Ben Pathy (Angola)  - Tudo Mudou - PMamona (Live performance)

Laura Nyahuye (Zimbabwe) - Skin - (Live recording & written poem)

Ahmed Magare (Somalia) - Quarantime - (Live recording & written poem)

Sun Dust, Not Now - (written poem)

Artwork & Photography:

Kia Aria (Iran) -  Room (Photography exhibition)

Ahmed Magare (Somalia) - Quarantime (Artwork)

The work was displayed in a Featured Artists Gallery, and at the start of the week we circulated a series of biogs and pictures, designed by Mission Graphics, and a link to the gallery.  Throughout the week, we featured 2 artists each day and shared their work on social media platforms.  We had a lot of positive feedback and many people viewed, liked and shared artists work.  This work is still available to view in our Featured Artists Gallery:

Creative Workshops

For Refugee Week we invited 3 artists to record a short workshop for us about their artform. Please view workshops by following the links:

Workshop 1 - Zirak Hamad
Understanding Daf and how to play
Learn more about the instrument and its role within Kurdish culture and music. Learn about the rhythms in Middle Eastern music

Workshop 2 - Fahim Zazai
Kitemaking Workshop - How to make a kite
Learn about Fahim's experience of making kites as a child growing up in Afghanistan

Workshop 3 - Millicent Chapanda
Mbira Workshop - Learn about The Mbira
Learn about the history and relevance of the Mbira as an instrument in Zimbabwean culture. Learn about the instrument, music and how it is played

World Music Party - With Mark Magoo

Saturday 20th June - 7-9pm

We ran our first ever live online event, and it went very well.  Around 30 people joined us for an online World Music Party, danced in their living rooms and had a great time.

Soapboxes – To imagine (In partnership with Ikon)

Saturday 20 June 11am-12.30pm

As part of World Refugee Day and Midsummer Festival, Ikon and Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham compiled 20 quick-fire, home-produced, soapbox videos on the theme of Refugee Week 2020: ‘Imagine’.  The event included presentations from: CSB, Migrant Voice, Birmingham Opera Company, Artivistas, Baobab Women's Project, I Am Espoir Campaign, Royal Shakespeare Company, Gap Arts, Cllr John Cotton (Birmingham City Council), BCMG, 36,000 Humans Project, Counterpoints Arts, plus artists and activists from across the city.

Music Playlists -

We put together a couple of playlists for suggested listening and viewing, involving a Spotify playlist by Rachael Cox and a Youtube playlist by Sid Peacock.  Again we had some great feedback  on these, people really seemed to enjoy them and it was a way to get people listening to artists music.  All of the artists we included  had either performed for CSB or are on our future programme for 2021.  

Film links via  Counterpoints Arts- Moving Worlds Project


For Sama

I Migrati

Midnight Traveller

Sky and Ground

We shared film links which counterpoints arts had on their website to encourage people to check out the films available to view for free.

Birmingham Refugee Week Network

There were some great contributions from Birmingham Refugee Week Network which we mainly shared via the Birmingham Refugee Week fb group.  These included: refugee stories, videos, campaigns, and information on the refugee support organisations, which we shared through the week.  

Birmingham Refugee Week

The main things we have learnt from this experience is that there are definitely things we will continue to develop going forward.   It is great promotion for the artists we support to get their names and work out there, so that when we do run live events in the future people may remember the names and come along.