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Reflecting on Create Syria ahead of Refugee Festival Scotland

Creative Scotland is developing its work for, by and with refugees and migrants in Scotland.

Earlier this year, in partnership with British Council, a delegation from Scottish Refugee Council, Counterpoints Arts and CCA were invited on a see and learn visit to Create Syria in Beirut.

Create Syria is a forum developed by the British Council and Ettijahat - an organisation that stimulates the growth of independent culture in Syria. The forum was a dynamic space for participation, operating as an exchange and professional development opportunity for practitioners.

Through talks, performances and discussions, the event explored how artists and arts organisations are supporting communities affected by crisis in different ways.

Our collaboration and development events during Scottish Refugee Festival 2019 was informed and inspired by this experience.

About Refugee Festival Scotland 2019

Refugee Festival Scotland takes place Thursday 20 - Sunday 30 June 2019.

The festival programme is wide-reaching, and responds the theme Making Art, Making Home: focussing on the talent, creativity and resilience of New Scots artists and community groups.

This year, we're delighted to be working with the Scottish Refugee Council, Counterpoints Arts and the CCA to present a curated programme of events between 24-27 June 2019.

Much of our work on this festival was informed by our experience at Create Syria.

More detail on events:

Monday 24 June: Manaf Halbouni – Artist Talk

A facilitated public discussion with German-Syrian artist Manaf Halbouni, whose performative installation Rubble Theatre, will be sited in St. Enoch Square in Glasgow throughout the festival.

Halbouni’s installation will recreate a scene of destruction in Syria, featuring the rubble of a bombsite and an abandoned car. Rubble Theatre is commissioned by Counterpoints Arts and Scottish Refugee Council. Funded and supported by Creative Scotland and the British Council.

7pm - 8pm, Brian Cox Theatre, Scottish Youth Theatre, Glasgow. Free, but ticketed. Booking via eventbrite.

Wednesday 26 June: Culture Sector Development Day

For artists, art organisations and cultural and community groups across Scotland interested in commissioning and programming work about migration and displacement and around the interconnected themes of cultural diversity.

This development day offers an opportunity to hear about and discuss international projects focusing on refugee and migrant experiences, plus the challenges and opportunities of forging new alliances through cross-sector partnerships and building new networks.

This event will be facilitated by Counterpoints Arts, and includes a presentation by artist Manaf Halbouni, whose public art commission Rubble Theatre brings the theme of displacement to the heart of Glasgow.

9.30am - 3pm, Scottish Youth Theatre, Glasgow. Free, but ticketed. Booking via eventbrite.

Thursday 27 June: Artists Network Symposium

Standalone but complementing the Cultural Sector Development Day on Wednesday 26 June, this symposium is purely from the perspective of artists with lived experience of seeking refugee protection and whose work has a focus on migration and identity.

The symposium, supported by Scottish Refugee Council, will focus on arts practice by and about refugees and migration. Presentations of work by artists from refugee backgrounds, panel and group discussions will be held around themes of disruption, belonging, ownership, barriers and collaboration.

Scottish-based artists including Iman Tajik and Farah Saleh as well as international artists including Manaf Halbouni and many others will present on current pieces of work several of which are focal elements of the curated arts Refugee Festival Scotland 2019 programme.

Participants in the symposium will be other professional artists from refugee and migrant backgrounds, curators, producers and cultural organisations who seek to foster new collaborations and nurture the development and profile of artists working in this sector.

10am - 4pm, CCA, Glasgow. Free, but ticketed. Booking via eventbrite.

Refugee Festival Scotland takes place Thursday 20 - Sunday 30 June 2019.

This article was published on 12 Jun 2019