A day to remember we are, and want to be, a city of refuge

A day to remember we are, and want to be, a city of refuge

Thu, 24/05/2018 - 10:51


Awareness. Activities for this year’s World Refugee Day aim to reach beyond those convinced that “we have to take them in”, raising awareness of the need to insist on the conditions which enable us to do so.

Once again this year Barcelona City Council and entities and institutions working with refugees are organising a series of activities for World Refugee Day. The aim is to highlight the reality of all those forced to flee their homes due to armed conflicts and violence, or on the grounds of religion, politics, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, as well as showing that we are already taking people in, as reflected by the hashtag #JaEstemAcollint.

“Reception is a long process which means not excluding, not discriminating, guaranteeing the rights of people taken in, treating them equally, respecting our differences”. The manifesto, put together for this commemorative meeting, is as much about a positive predisposition among citizens as it is about getting the administrations responsible to fulfil their duty of protecting the rights of those who can request asylum, as well as those who are denied it.

The manifesto will be read out on 20 June at an institutional act in the Saló de Cent, attended by entities on the Municipal Immigration Council and other bodies working with refugees. The act will be presented by Kaissa Ould Braham, philologist and journalist, and Rosa Cendón, from Sicar cat, the entity which provides support for victims of human trafficking. Numerous other activities are being organised off the back of this act and will be held at various points around the city, such as community centres, libraries and other facilities and open venues.

Documentary film

Activities begin at the end of May with the screening of the documentary El periple, by Segula Films, which looks at the most intimate memory of the republican exile of 1939 in order to find answers to the current moral crisis of refugees. The other documentaries being shown are Miss Kiet’s Children, a work by Pack Màgic which explains how a young child adapts to a new school and a new language; Memòries d’exili: Teresa Juvé, by the PEN Català, on the years Teresa Juve spent as a republican refugee in France; RefugiAt, by the collective Textura de Cultura, and Colis Suspect, which aims to answer the question ‘What’s behind fortress Europe?”.

Talks and round tables

Talks and round table sessions are also being organised and use various forms to address different topics: information-based sessions, such as the one on mentoring and Catalan reception groups, and the presentation of the annual report by the Spanish Refugee Aid Commission, and experience-based sessions, such as the one at the Official College of Social Workers of Catalonia on support for refugees and LGBTI diaspora, given by Acathi. There’s also a chance to visit the marquee for the #JoTambéEmMoc awareness campaign being conducted by Metges del Món.

Art and music

Anyone wanting to enjoy the art and music on offer can choose from activities such as the musical poetry recital by Camí Amic, a poetic dialogue between Catalan and Amazigh; a rock concert in aid of the programmes run by the Catalan Refugee Aid Commission; the meeting ‘Hip Hop per la pau’, organised by the International Catalan Institute for Peace; the shows Yo es tú, by Paulina TovoAmic meu!, and the workshop ‘Lletra petita’, by Accem.

There’s also a chance to visit the awareness exhibitions by Refugiats Benvinguts, the collection of photos from the visit to the Diavata refugee camp by students from the Institut Ausiàs March, and the display of drawings at the Casa Orlandai by child refugees at the Ritsona camp in Greece.

Also well worth taking part in are the participatory activities such as ‘Dibuixos per somriures’, by the Escola Joso; ‘Famílies compartides’, with Artislove, and ‘Acció col·lectiva creativa’, organised by various collectives in Gràcia.

And also in the markets!

Another of the outstanding proposals is the activity that will be carried out in ten municipal markets to invite people who are buying to think and debate around the permeability of borders when talking about goods, as opposed to the impermeability they have when it comes to migrants or refugees. There will be activities in ten municipal markets, one per district, which will open a space for debate and reflection about the host and the refuge.

For more information on these activities click here.