Young Fathers, Balkanarama and Skipinnish among the highlights of Refugee Week Scotland 2014

Young Fathers, Balkanarama and Skipinnish among the highlights of Refugee Week Scotland 2014

The multicultural celebration highlights music as an international bond ahead of the Commonwealth Games

Music is often the most joyous and immediate celebration of the contribution refugees make to their new communities — a way to communicate hope and optimism for the future, preserve and pay tribute to the stories of the past and chronicle an evolving cultural experience.

This idea is reflected in the music strand of this year’s Refugee Week programme, a coming together of the talents of refugees from across the globe who have settled in Scotland and brought song with them. In the year the Commonwealth Games comes to Glasgow, the Scottish Refugee Council is using the event as a platform to challenge negative attitudes towards migrants and foster a spirit of warm-hearted hospitality for asylum seekers yet to come.

A few days before Refugee Week kicks off properly, the African Caribbean Cultures Glasgow group and Ubuntu South African Women's Choir celebrate Soweto Day with a showcase of new music from Scotland's African Caribbean communities, including hip-hop, R&B, township jive and liberation songs (Glasgow University Union, Fri 13 Jun). The Melting Pot (Jenniburn Community Centre, Sat 14 Jun) celebrates cultural heritage and integration in Castlemilk, with a chance to savour some of the West African music and dance that has thrived in that area.

Beautiful Glasgow is a homage to the city, performed by the Garnethill Multicultural Centre Women's Choir (Garnethill Multicultural Centre, Fri 20 Jun), whose songs map the journeys their members have made from various parts of Africa to the endearingly inclement city they and their families have made home.

Also marking World Refugee Day is a musical knees-up at the Old Fruitmarket (Fri 20 Jun) featuring Edinburgh hip hop trio Young Fathers, Balkan folk-ensemble and punsters Balkanarama and award-winning ceildh band Skipinnish. Late-night action brings grassroots arts and music charity Philanthrobeats together with promoters Re:Verb for a carnival-style club night at Stereo (Sat 21 Jun).

Various venues, Glasgow, Mon 16 Jun–Sun 22 Jun.

Refugee Festival Scotland

Coordinated by Scottish Refugee Council, and centred around World Refugee Day, this annual festival of arts and cultural events celebrates the contribution which refugees make to Scottish cultural life and the welcome offered by local people. The 2020 edition marks the 20th year of the festival.

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