Refugee Nights: Conversation, Art & Music
Date(s) - 11/17/2020 - 12/01/2020
by Imperial War Museums
About this Event
Refugee Nights is a virtual festival created by the IWM Institute marking its launch in November 2020. From those risking everything to cross the seas, to thousands who experienced the devastating fire in Lesbos’ Moria camp last month, 2020 has seen the highest levels of displacement on record. With an estimated 79 million people currently displaced worldwide, media attention has gravitated back to the so-called refugee crisis. But how much do we really know about the experiences of those behind the headlines? Over three nights, the festival will explore refugees’ stories throughout history in talks, eyewitness accounts, music and food, and celebrate refugees’ rich and important cultural contributions to UK public life.
Refugee Nights is a free event that will be broadcast on IWM’s YouTube Channel.
Each night, spaced over three weeks, will be hosted by HASSAN AKKAD, Syrian refugee and creator of BAFTA-winning documentary ‘Exodus’ , who will guide online viewers through the festival and share his moving story along the way.
NIGHT 1: THE DECISION TO FLEE, 17 NOV, 7pm
Comedian OMID DJALILI, filmmaker WAAD AL-KATEAB and UNHCR’s ROSSELLA PAGLIUCHI-LOR discuss how memories of home have shaped the stories and experiences of refugees throughout history, in a conversation hosted by CNN news anchor BECKY ANDERSON. Students from University of the Arts London speak to HASSAN AKKAD about busting stereotypes and common misperceptions of refugees. Artist ASIA ALFASI reflects on her childhood in Libya before the revolution in 2011, sharing a video of her unique drawing process that explores life beyond the ‘conflict-zone’ trope.
NIGHT 2: THE JOURNEY, 24 NOV, 7pm
Labour party peer LORD ALF DUBS and refugee NUJEEN MUSTAFA – who travelled 3,500 miles from Syria to Germany by wheelchair to escape conflict – discuss how refugee journeys have changed throughout history, from the Kindertransport to today’s channel crossings. Actor JUDE LAW reflects upon his performance at the Good Chance Theatre at the Calais ‘Jungle’ in 2016, and discusses the power of storytelling with festival host HASSAN AKKAD. CNN’s Senior International Correspondent ARWA DAMON discusses her ongoing work with refugee children in the Middle East.
NIGHT 3: A NEW HOME? 1 DEC, 7pm
Oxford University Professor ALEXANDER BETTS, author MAYA GOODFELLOW and CEO of Oxfam & Disasters Emergency Committee Trustee DANNY SRISKANDARAJAH debate how the world should respond to the refugee crisis today, in a conversation chaired by CNN anchor CLARISSA WARD. The London-based Syrian chef and restaurateur IMAD ALARNAB shares his story of building a new life in the UK, cooking traditional Syrian dishes for viewers as he explores the importance of food. A final blockbuster musical performance closes the series!