REFUGEE week is currently taking place with a number of events scheduled across Brighton.

The annual celebration began yesterday and is running until June 26, showcasing the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

This year’s theme is healing and the events run by the city council aim to celebrate community, mutual care, and the “human ability to start again”.

Councillor Steph Powell, co-chairwoman of the tourism, equalities, communities and culture committee said: “Refugee Week is a chance to recognise and celebrate the resilience, determination and skills brought to the city by those arriving here after long dangerous journeys.  

“We are proud of our long history of solidarity and welcome for refugees in Brighton and Hove

“We’ve seen it again this year in the vital support given by our communities to those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

“This year’s theme of healing tells us we have much to learn from refugees about holding onto hope when going on seems impossible – as well as about how art, creativity and community can help us to heal.”

Here is a list of the events happening across the city:

Refugee week with Brighton and Hove libraries

Brighton and Hove Libraries are hosting a programme of cultural events, topical discussions and information sharing to celebrate and raise awareness of refugee week.

The libraries have worked with guest programmers Luqman Temitayo Onikosi and Sara Alsherif whose contributions have been important in reflecting those seeking sanctuary and have shaped this year’s offer.

Themed collections for all ages will be highlighted through the week in our libraries and online displays. Information about Refugee Week and events happening across the city will be available to pick up from Jubilee Library foyer until Friday.

On Sunday, members of the Ukrainian community will be at Jubilee Library to share information about Ukraine and answer questions.

Diala Brisly Illustrating Hope - solo art exhibition produced in collaboration with The Socially Engaged Art Salon

Monday to Saturday in the Jubilee Library main windows

Born in Kuwait in 1980 to Syrian parents, Diala Brisly is a visual artist who grew up in Damascus. 

Following the outbreak of the Syrian war, she participated in the uprising against the Assad regime and had to flee to Turkey and then to Lebanon. 

There, she started working with "tent schools", painting murals and holding art therapy workshops at refugee camps across the country.

Diala has been using her art to confront her own trauma from the war in Syria and to defend the human rights of others. 

Storytime for pre-school children and their parents and carers

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10.15am at the Jubilee Library children’s area

“We extend a warm welcome to all families to join us for these storytime sessions celebrating diversity and inclusion. 

“On Tuesday library staff will be joined by Sara Alsherif with stories read in Arabic and English.”

Free drop-in.

Sand Art Workshop with Momodou Saine

Tuesday at 3.30pm to 4.30pm at Whitehawk Library

Join sand paint artist Momodou and have fun creating. 

Originally from the Gambia, in his childhood Momodou developed a technique of painting using sand of different colours.

Free drop-in. Refreshments provided.

The Network of International Women

Wednesday, 10am to 12pm at Jubilee Library community space

People are invited to bring in their favourite poems to share and read aloud in their home language.

The Network of International Women provides a platform for women from different cultures and backgrounds to meet, share experiences and knowledge, and to support one another. 

Meet to sew, knit, craft, and make friends.

Free women’s drop in.

Our Common Threads – Artist Bern O’Donoghue reflects on the theme of Healing

Jubilee Library ground floor, Wednesday at 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4.30pm and Thursday at 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 5pm

Sewing the words of asylum seekers, former refugees, advocates and campaigners on their clothes, Bern reflects on Healing. 

Drop in to chat or bring an everyday item of your own clothing to embroider and celebrate community, mutual care and the human ability to start again.

Free, all welcome.

Storytime for pre-school children and their parents and carers

Wednesday at 10.15am at Hove Library children’s area

“We extend a warm welcome to all families to join us for this storytime session celebrating diversity and inclusion.”

Free drop-in - no need to book

Refugee and Asylum Seekers - the process of applying: Expectations and Challenges

Thursday at 12pm to 4pm at Jubilee Library conference hall.

From 12pm to 1.30pm join legal professionals Madeleine Kelleher, Iain F. Palmer and Jo Wilding for an advice panel on claiming asylum, and refugee status, the asylum process, what they need to prove and access to legal advice.

From 1.45pm to 4pm - one-to-one legal advice clinic, private 15 minute sessions with lawyers.

Free drop-in - no need to book. Refreshments provided.

Sky between my teeth: Creative writing workshop for migrants

Friday at 11am to 4pm and Saturd at 11am to 4pm (with an hour lunch)

Jubilee Library conference room 3 

Georgina Aboud & Akila M Richards will look at the fundamentals of storytelling, creating a real-life character and dialogue, read extracts from published writers, and, of course, write!

People from a migrant or international background are invited to take part. There are two sessions, and you are invited to book for one or both.

“Maybe you are already writing, or you just fancy giving it a go, all levels from complete beginners to more experienced writers are welcome! Your English doesn’t need to be perfect, but a good understanding is needed (helpful) to ensure you get the most from the workshops.”

Free - please book a place in advance on the Creative Future website.

Women’s Belly Dancing Workshop with Sara Alsherif

Friday at 12pm to 1.30pm at Hangleton Library

Open to women and those who identify as a woman.

Join Sara for this fun dance workshop suitable for all abilities and explore the art of belly dancing. 

Wear comfortable clothing and bring a bottle of water, dance scarves provided.

Free, please book your place in advance on Eventbrite.

Printed Postcards for Peace workshop with East Side Print

Saturday at 10.30am to 1pm at Whitehawk Library

Join East Side Print for this workshop creating printed postcards on the theme of Hope and Peace. 

Print two postcards, one to keep and one to give to a new friend or neighbour who might be in need of some friendship.

Free, drop in. Suitable for all ages.

Global Music Event with Best Foot Music and Hopeful Solidarities

Saturday at 12 noon to 4pm at Jubilee Library main hall

Libraries are working with Best Foot Music and Hopeful Solidarities to bring performances from Polina Shepard; the Brighton and Hove Yiddish choir, Bashir Al Gamar, Jamal & Alaa and special guests Dina, Polina, Bella and solo artist Yulya Fytsalo sharing Ukrainian songs.

Food from Syria, Sudan and Ethiopia available for a suggested donation.

Free, all welcome.

The Universality of It All film screening

Sunday at 2pm at Jubilee Library conference hall – suitable for adults only

The Universality of It All directed by Andrés Bronnimann is a feature - length documentary focused on the topics of human migration and inequality. 

“The filmmaker tells the story of his best friend Emad, a Yemeni refugee living in Vancouver, Canada, and by doing so, he ends up arriving to a profound realisation about the interconnectedness of all the major events of the 21st century.”

Please be aware this film contains some violent scenes which some may find disturbing.

Free, adults only. Free popcorn offered on a first come, first served basis.

Book your free ticket in advance on EventBrite or drop in on the day.

Library of Sanctuary

Jubilee Library is proud to be a "Library of Sanctuary", a diverse community space where everyone can feel welcome and included and connect with others.

The Libraries of Sanctuary initiative has been set up to recognise good practice of libraries which welcome people seeking sanctuary and other new arrivals into their community and seek to foster a culture of welcome and inclusivity.

For more information on any of the events, please contact or call 01273 290 800.