You're Reading: New Routes ... Refugee Week Norwich
Refugee Week Norwich 2023
What is Refugee Week for?
Through a programme of arts, cultural, sports and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns, Refugee Week enables people from different backgrounds to connect beyond labels, as well as encouraging understanding of why people are displaced, and the challenges they face when seeking safety. Refugee Week is a platform for people who have sought safety in the UK to share their experiences, perspectives and creative work on their own terms.
Refugee Week’s vision is for refugees and asylum seekers to be able to live safely within inclusive and resilient communities, where they can continue to make a valuable contribution.
Refugee Week is an umbrella festival, and anyone can get involved by holding or joining an event or activity. Refugee Week events happen in all kinds of different spaces and range from arts festivals, exhibitions, film screenings and museum tours to football tournaments, public talks and activities in schools.
Refugee Week 2023 was June 19 – 25th
Theme – Compassion
The New Routes Refugee Week coordination group, made up entirely of people with lived experience of migration, was established for 2023, in expectation that in future years it will take on more of the planning and development of Refugee Week.
Refugee Week events share these core beliefs:
We All Have the Right to be Safe
Everyone deserves a home and has the right to seek safety for themselves and their families.
There is a Bigger ‘Us’
We are not the same. Our experiences are different, and we don’t have equal access to resources and power. BUT we are interconnected and interdependent: The safety of each of us matters to all of us.
Open to All
An open platform, welcoming a wide range of responses suited to many contexts. Activities should be inclusive and without barriers to participation.
We particularly celebrate the contributions of refugees – giving lived experience spaces where refugees can be seen and heard beyond their experience of displacement.
Arts and Culture Make Change
Arts and culture help us see migration and displacement differently: creating connection across difference, taking refugee’s voices and experiences to new spaces, and helping us imagine how we can better live together.
A Space for Many Stories
An empowering platform where people who have experienced displacement can express themselves on their own terms. No single group narrative represents ‘the refugee experience’, therefore we support diverse representations.
Wherever possible, initiatives about refugee experiences should involve people with lived experience of displacement in their planning and leadership.
Reclaiming the word ‘Refugee’
Beyond legal and historical significance we believe it’s important to reclaim ‘refugee’ from negative uses. At the same time, we recognise the danger of labels and respect people’s right to self-define.
Previous Refugee Week Norwich Programmes of events
In 2017 Norwich hosted a record 22 events, with a number of new venues and organisations joining in to celebrate Norwich’s diversity.
Norfolk’s long history of welcoming refugees was revealed in the New Routes’ walking tour of Norwich and by the team at Strangers’ Hall. The arts of those forced into exile were in the spotlight at the Norwich Arts Centre Eritrea, a country at a crossroads exhibition and at a special screening of the critically-acclaimed Persopolis at Cinema City, alongside heart-warming local shorts. To close the week, stirring and inspiring personal stories on the theme of leaving home were shared at a special edition of True Stories Live at the Norwich Arts Centre.
Sign up for updates on our work.