Refugee Week

22 June, 2022 9:19 am

Established in 1988, Refugee Week is a UK festival that combats the negative stigma of refugees and asylum seekers and celebrates their resilience and contributions to society. It is a chance to create a safe place for refugees and welcome them into our community. 

This year, the theme for Refugee Week is ‘Healing’

With everything going on in the world, now is a time where we can come together and help each other heal. 

Keighley College strives to create a safe space where people can heal and rebuild their lives in a welcoming community with mutual care and respect. 

Refugee Week has highlighted some simple acts that we can do to stand with refugees and help them heal. 

Refugee Film Festival

During this year’s Refugee Week, Keighley College is hosting a Refugee Film Festival at Keighley’s Picture House. The festival will be an evening of thought-provoking short films, guest speakers and local filmmakers to share stories of asylum seekers and refugees in Yorkshire.

This event aims to educate our students, staff and wider community about the challenges of those seeking sanctuary and provides a safe space for open dialogue and reflection.

This event is welcome to everyone and also welcomes community groups and partners that work locally to improve the lives of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. 

Featured Films

‘Malak And The Boat’ – Andre HolzmeisterMalak and the Boat by Andre Holzmeister tells the story of seven-year-old Malak’s harrowing story of her journey across the Mediterranean seeking shelter from the Syrian conflict.

‘Rebea’ by Tom Harmer – As a Rohingya Muslim and refugee from Myanmar, sixteen-year-old Rabea Sultana understands the power of her story and the value of her freedom. The opportunity she received of UK citizenship and new life in Bradford is one she intends to use through her voice for the benefit of all humanity.

‘What You Know About Patience’ – Kazzum Arts – 

‘What you know about patience?’ shares the complexities and challenges facing young people seeking asylum in the UK. The animation has been inspired by the experiences of young people engaging in Kazzum Arts’ Pathways programme. 

‘Ruth & Safiya’ – Louisa Rose Mackleston – Ruth & Safiya is a story about friendships in unlikely places, challenging stereotypes, and the power of community. Ruth, an isolated pensioner, meets Safiya, a teenage Syrian refugee who is haunted by the life she fled from. Filmed on location in Skipton, the story is set in an allotment, showing the power of the earth and nature in creating a bond that transcends age, race and nationality.

‘Guardians’ – Children’s Society –  A Youth-led Commission on Separated Children (YLCSC), a group of young people previously supported by The Children’s Society. They have come together through shared experiences of the asylum process and the vision that all separated children in England and Wales should be supported by a legal guardian. 

‘A Life On Hold’ – Marc Silver, Nick Francis – A Life On Hold is an intimate portrait of Omar, a 17-year-old stranded in a refugee camp since the 2011 war in Libya. It offers a unique perspective of one person amongst thousands waiting for a chance to start their life again in a safe country.

‘Rain Is Beautiful’ – Marc Silver, Nick Francis – This follow-up to A Life On Hold begins with emotional farewells at a refugee camp as Omar leaves his friends behind to begin a new life in Sweden.

‘Then I Came By Boat’ – Marleena Forward – This short documentary tells the story of Tri Nguyen’s childhood escape from war-torn Vietnam, and his eventual resettlement in Australia.

Guest Speakers 

There will be guest speakers throughout the evening. 

Graham Mitchell is a guest speaker from Keighley Place of Sanctuary, a network which seeks to support the needs of asylum seekers and refugees, made up of separate organisations which cooperate with each other.

Jo Rusden, Deputy Head for Adult and Community at Keighley College. 

Hadayat Ali, the father of Rabea and a Rohingyan refugee. 

Film producer, Tom Harmer, from Faith + Bones, storytelling for humanity will be talking about his film Rabea. 

Louisa Rose Mackleston from Northern Fortress Films, who directed Ruth and Safia will also be a guest speaker there. Louisa has worked as an Assistant Director in the Film & TV industry for the past 4 years. In January 2021 she opened her production company – Northern Fortress Films.

How to support 

There are many ways that we can show support to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. This could be by volunteering at a local charity, donating clothes or raising money. 

Take a look here at 5 local, regional and national charities and organisations that you can support. 

Refugee Week has highlighted some simple acts that we can do to stand with refugees and help them heal.