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Celebrating Refugee Week 2024

Hastings Museum & Art Gallery is working with Hastings Community of Sanctuary, The Refugee Buddy Project, and Hastings Supports Refugees to support Refugee Week (17 to 23 June).

On Monday 17 June, The Refugee Buddy Project (TRBP) will launch the Refugee Week programme with a private film preview, object display and Palestinian buffet celebrating the collaborative project, Flavours Without Borders, at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery. The exhibition will open to the public on Tuesday 18 June and run until 7 July.

From Saturday 15 June, there will be free events across the town around the theme ‘Our Home: From the places we gather to share meals to our collective home, earth’. The full programme is available online on The Refugee Buddy Project website. The programme includes art exhibitions across Hastings and Rother, films, workshops, food, and community events for all ages.

Sanctuary Festival

Hastings Museum & Art Gallery will close Refugee Week with the Sanctuary Festival on Sunday 23 June from 12 noon to 6pm. The festival is organised by Hastings Community of Sanctuary and celebrates the power of community, creativity and hope.

The festival is free to enter for all and there will be live music, creative workshops, storytellers, community stalls, fun for kids and food from across the world. Alongside musical performances you will also be able to enjoy a fashion show, created by a group of women from Sudan, Ukraine, Syria, and Hastings, showcasing traditional and contemporary costume, some made especially for the event.

Cllr Julia Hilton, Leader of Hastings Borough Council, said: “The Sanctuary Festival is always a fantastic event showcasing the many communities we have in Hastings. There are so many different events across the town celebrating all our different cultures. Hastings is a welcoming town and it is always a pleasure to see so many people come together during Refugee Week.”

Polly Gifford, Co-Chair, Hastings Community of Sanctuary and Sanctuary Festival organiser, added: “We will tirelessly challenge the negative stories that makes scapegoats of people seeking a safe place to be, while also promoting understanding and valuing all those who contribute to our communities. Sanctuary Festival is a great family day out that also sends a strong message of solidarity – we hope you will join us.”

Rossana Leal, CEO, The Refugee Buddy Project, explained: “We are overwhelmed by the support from artists and organisations across the town who are celebrating Refugee Week with us this year. This is the chance to celebrate our home as a place of diverse cultures and histories and above all, a welcoming, safe and sustainable community for all.”

For Refugee Week events happening in Hastings and day-by-day updates, visit The Refugee Buddy Project website and Instagram. More about the Sanctuary Festival is available on the Hastings Community of Sanctuary website.

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