Refugee Week Greece: Journey Forward: Refugee Week Greece 2023
Refugee Week Greece – Arts of Diaspora
9 November 2023
Refugee Week is a global and dynamic movement, a cultural festival celebrating the contribution, creativity and authenticity of people having experienced forced displacement. It takes place every year on the occasion of World Refugee Day, which is commemorated on the 20th of June.
Refugee Week Greece is coming back this year on 17-24th June 2024.
Refugee Week embodies a global and dynamic movement, a cultural celebration that shines a light on the invaluable contributions, creativity, and authentic experiences of individuals who have experienced forced displacement. The festival is committed to promoting equity and diversity, by providing a platform for artists of the diaspora to express themselves and continue their professional growth. We aim to support traditional cultural manifestations of the diaspora communities in order not only to sustain links and ties with their homelands but also to facilitate the promotion of contemporary creation including traditional folk art as well as to promote cultural diversity through diverse modes of artistic creation, production, distribution and enjoyment.
During the launch event our partner organisations shared their thoughts on the importance of Refugee Week Greece, in bringing people together, including:
- Almir Koldiz ,Director ,Counterpoints Arts
- Claire Pavlaki, Ministry of Migration & Asylum, General Secretariat for Vulnerable Persons and Institutional Protection
- Melina Daskalaki , President at City of Athens Reception and Solidarity Centre (KYADA), Special Advisor to the Mayor of Athens for Migrants and Refugees
- Maria Clara Martin, Representative, UNHCR Greece
- Eirini ANDROULAKI, Municipality Focal Point, IOM Greece
Also, a number of partners who run activities, workshops and events for the Festival in 2023, illustrated their experience and impact:
- Eleni Zacharopoulou , Communications Officer, EEA Grants
- Lina Ioannidou ,Social Scientist,Youth Network, Network for Children’s Rights
- Alana Chloe Esposito, Co-Director, Head Partnerships & Advocacy, Lighthouse Relief
- Nia Hefe Filogianni, Cream Athens
“What I believe will linger in my memory from the festival is the sheer intensity of the moments and the dynamic shift in emotions. With each activity, it felt like I was transported between different spaces, moving from the realm of fiction to the realm of action, from theatre to first aid, from children’s creative endeavours to women’s empowerment, cinema, music, from delving into history and tradition to experiencing a blend of anxiety and hope for the future. Remarkably, all these diverse worlds somehow come together and connect with one another.”
Refugee Week Greece Attendee
Refugee Week Greece has received the Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe (EFFE) label. The EFFE Label is Europe’s quality stamp for remarkable arts festivals showing their engagement in the field of the arts, community involvement and international openness
The initiative is a cultural festival, part of a dynamic global movement, and promotes the contribution, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking refuge. The event is implemented with the kind support of the City of Athens with the participation of the Athens Coordination Centre for Migrant & Refugee issues (ACCMR), the Migrant Integration Center (KEM) and other social integration programmes of the City of Athens, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in Greece, IOM, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Greece Country Office and the Network for Children’s Rights.
Tom Green, Senior Producer for Counterpoints Arts announced the theme for this year’s festival is “Our Home”. The theme for Refugee Week 2024 is “Our Home”. From the places we gather to share meals to our collective home, planet earth: everyone is invited to celebrate what our Our Home means to them.
Home can be a place of refuge, a feeling or a state of mind. It can be found in smells, tastes and sounds. From the clothes we wear to the words we grew up with. It’s in food, music and arts. It’s in our cultures and in our landscapes. Home can be more than one place and finding it can be a journey, as it is for so many of us who have to leave our countries and rebuild our lives. Sometimes we can find home in a single person. Other times it’s in a whole community. And often, it’s in a single gesture of care and welcome.
The event closed with Filmmaker Fridoon Joinda presenting the Film for Refugee Week Greece festival 2023. You can watch the film HERE.
To be part of Refugee Week Greece 2024 and for more information and Press Enquiries please contact us: [email protected] +30 698 30 50 292
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Produced and curated by Dina Ntziora