Journeys Festival International celebrates Refugee Week 2021 with a great variety of exciting events from 14 – 20 June, accompanied by the theme of unity and solidarity ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’ – coming from Martin Luther King’s historic ‘I have a dream’ speech. Refugee Week is an invitation for everyone to extend their hand to someone new – in a bold, collective act of reaching out; in a space for everyone to listen, to exchange and to connect; in order to find out what each one of us can learn from others and what we can build together.

This year’s programme brings to you a wide spectrum of events including multi-media art programmes, community projects, book launches and film presentations:

Starting the festival with extraordinary musical highlights on 13 June is Journeys Live at HOME in Manchester. Exploring musical traditions and fusion styles, musical artists from East Africa and Syria showcase their art in this live outdoor event as part of Horizons Festival 2021 by HOME. You can enjoy the sounds of DJ Chande, Dilzat Turdi, Young Amani, Rihab Azar, Zee Guveya and the Heritage Survival Band and more to follow.

With Global Kitchen, the beloved community project in partnership with Soft Touch Arts and volunteer chefs led by Linton Magume is part of Refugee Week again! Global Kitchen unites people through food: With the first ever recipe book available in shops and launched at a small event for participants and partners on 15 June. The recipe book features dishes shared by members of the local community from their home nations, allowing you to recreate a truly global menu.

This year again, Refugee Week offers a great variety of digital events for the duration of the entire festival (14 – 20 June), accessible from all over the world! Presenting the ‘book of ideas’ by sanctuary seekers at Words of Welcome, showcasing a selection of contemporary short films at Journeys into Film and introducing an amazing multi-media experience with Sun Up, Rain Falls, River Rises:

In the brand new Words of Welcome project, Manchester City of Sanctuary members created a book in collaboration with ArtReach and SBC Theatre. During lockdown, sanctuary seekers were helped to develop their own storytelling in a series of creative workshops whilst improving their English skills. In the ‘book of ideas’, which you can download from the website, now they present these stories in their own words with beautiful illustrations!

Journeys into Film showcases an extraordinary selection of contemporary short films that look into collective experiences of displacement – focusing on the stories of the sounds, languages, histories and memories, which shape our relationship to space and identity. Journeys Festival International wants to specifically thank Film Hub North and Film Hub Midlands for the amazing support! Book your free tickets for Journeys into Film from 14 June onwards on the website, to view the series of short films at a time of your choice throughout Refugee Week.

The multi-media project Sun Up, Rain Falls, River Rises offers an exciting interactive experience – taking place in specially selected locations across the UK – introducing different stories from around the globe whilst allowing a glimpse into the memories of each writer. Illustrated posters in each location allow QR code access to the audio stories written by Phosphoros Theatre, illustrated by Pickle Illustration and accompanied by musical compositions of Mira Siegel.

On 18 June, Journeys Festival International introduces Reckoning – a multimedia short film, created in collaboration with European artists, telling the stories of generations of displaced people in their own words. To celebrate Refugee Week 2021, the team will be sharing a teaser trailer for this forthcoming short film. For Journeys Festival International main festival of 2021 (15 – 25 October), the work will be developed further into a live show.


The Other Side of Hope is a UK-based literary magazine edited by refugees and immigrants, offering journeys into refugee and immigrant literature. They exist to serve – via words – the refugee and immigrant communities worldwide. For Refugee Week 2021, The Other Side of Hope is open to submissions until 31 July 2021!

With this extraordinary programme the festival team invite you to visit, engage and participate in the events and activities of Refugee Week 2021 in order to share the message of unity and solidarity as ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’!

Find more information on each of the events on and visit Refugee Week 2021