There’s some strange synchronicity in this week being Refugee Week, given all the awful news of the past few days.
Refugee Week is what this post is about, but in case you haven’t read them, please read the following two pieces:
- Six reasons why Cardiff needs the EU
- There is love here: a tribute to Jo Cox MP and everything she stood for and fought for.
Also, in case you’re feeling all het up about all the terrible xenophobic trash so much of our media has been talking, a protest has been arranged for this Saturday:
Protest: after the referendum, defend all migrants – Saturday 25 June, 12 midday, Aneurin Bevan statue, Cardiff city centre
Cardiff, an intercultural city?
Monday 20 June, Oasis Centre Cardiff (Facebook event)
Cardiff City of Sanctuary, in partnership with the Welsh Refugee Council and Oasis Cardiff, invites you to a celebration of Cardiff’s migrant communities and the local people who welcome them into the city.
An evening of lively performances and insightful discussion on the contribution of migrants to the city and how Cardiff can design effective local strategies for migrant integration.
Where: Oasis, 69b Splott Road, Cardiff, CF24 2BW
When : Monday 20th June,
Time : 6:00pm-8:00pm
All are welcome to attend, network and consider important questions for our local community:
• How do we achieve successful integration in local communities?
• What is happening in Cardiff to help migrant communities to reach their potential?
• Where next for the city? Where next for Wales?
A free dinner, cooked by local refugees and asylum seekers, will be provided for all attendees.
Migrants from all backgrounds are encouraged to attend. Please contact Althea at the Welsh Refugee Council for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography Exhibition about Calais Refugee Camp
June 17 – 25, Cardiff MADE Gallery, open Weds – Sat 10am – 6pm
Self-taught photographer and long term volunteer in the notorious “Jungle” Refugee Camp in Calais, Megan Howell, raises profound questions about the violence affecting the refugees who live in Calais through this exhibition.
The photography exhibition “Voices” challenges the use of such inflammatory tactics with a presentation of photographic footage shot largely during the most violent phase of evictions in February and March 2016. Megan spent three months in the camp during which time she twice witnessed thousands of its residents being internally displaced as a result of, often violent, evictions carried out by the local authorities. When describing her time working in the camp, Megan says that “the most shocking aspect was the violent and oppressive manner in which the refugees were treated by the authorities. In my opinion the tactics of the CRS are extremely heavy-handed and they frequently escalate benign situations unnecessarily to the point where the use of force is able to be legitimised.”
It is highly likely that the camp will one day be completely dismantled suggesting the possibility of repeated eviction processes. Highlighting the violent nature of these evictions is, therefore, an important part of the campaign to secure the rights and freedoms of the refugees living in Calais. The camp is under the near constant guard of the heavily armed French riot police – the CRS – who carry batons, rubber bullets and tear gas grenade launchers as well as keeping a water canon on standby.
“When Megan showed us her photographs and told us her story, we immediately recognised the potential for this exhibition to play a pivotal role in achieving aims of Refugee Week Wales 2016.” – Lindsay Wright – Refugee Week Wales Co-ordinator
Refugee Week celebrations at the Wales Millennium Centre
Join the WMC as they present work as part Refugee Week Wales, exploring the challenging and moving stories of migration and resilience in a rapidly changing world. The Centre has been working with Oasis Cardiff, WOW Women’s Film Club, Louise Osborn, young and aspiring performers, community volunteers and Music Without Borders Cardiff to bring together a collection of projects and showcases free for you to get involved in.
The Refugee Wales exhibition will be on throughout June and our film event and must see Weston Studio performance of Blackbird, will take place across the Refugee Week weekend of 25 and 26 June.
And don’t forget to vote in the EU referendum on Thursday (the right answer is ‘Remain in Europe’, in case you weren’t sure).
We Are Cardiff