“I am safe – I can create” is the title of this year’s World Refugee Day celebration organised by “Artscape”. The celebration will start on Monday, 20 June at 18:00. The organisers invite everyone to join the celebration: enjoy delicious food, watch talented performances, dance together and engage in conversation with people from different countries, cultures and life paths. To find out more about the World Refugee Day “I am safe – I can create” programme and where to find out more, please visit the celebration page.
Together with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the public organisation “Save the Children”, “Caritas”, the Refugee Reception Centre, the organization “Help Me Fit In” and the international humanitarian aid organization “Doctors Without Borders”, “Artscape” aims to promote awareness by giving newcomers and locals the opportunity to experience together what it means to let go of all preconceived notions and to let go and enjoy the moment. And by sharing this moment with a group of people who speak different languages, have different goals, and see the world through different cultural prisms, you can experience the richness and diversity of the world around you and how multiculturalism enriches the world.
This year’s celebration was inspired by the United Nations Refugee Agency’s Refugee Day theme – the right to safety. Anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time, has the right to feel good and to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones. In the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the media’s distorted portrayal of migrants, the uncertainty of the expiry of detention periods in migrant centres, this celebration will allow us to focus on being together, on music, and on things we are able to enjoy collectively as a humanity.
Ieva Šlechtavičiūtė, Artscape’s Programme Manager, shares that “the Refugee Day celebration is important not only for the new arrivals to Lithuania and the people who are settling in our country – refugees, asylum seekers, but also for our society: to show how many different people, with their own unique cultures and traditions, are living in our midst, and how that enriches our social environment. World Refugee Day is a platform where everyone’s voice, everyone’s story and everyone’s aspirations matter.”
Around World Refugee Day, various Refugee Week initiatives are organised around the world. They celebrate the determination and success stories of migrants through cultural and educational activities and promote community. For the first Refugee Week initiative in Lithuania, Artscape has prepared a series of coffee breaks – online meetings where representatives of NGOs working with refugees and asylum-seeking migrants share their work contexts. People interested in migration are invited to participate in coffee break sessions and ask questions. For more information and live streaming throughout the week, please visit the Refugee Week Lithuania Facebook page.
“Refugee Week Lithuania coffee breaks programme:
13 June (Monday), 14:00 Yusufi Muhammadzoda, “The Changing Climate of Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Lithuania”, Mantautas Šulskus, “Protest: Permit to live”
14 June (Tuesday), 2 pm. Darshan Navaratnam, “From Sri Lanka to Lithuania: the never-ending story of asylum seeking”
15 June (Wednesday), 2 pm Nodir Kurbonov, “Migration as a story of a new life”
Thursday 16 June, 2 pm Agneshka Avin “The situation of Roma refugees leaving Ukraine and the problems of racial profiling”
17 June (Friday), 2 pm Giedrė Blažytė , “A study of public attitudes towards migrants and refugees in Lithuania”, Marianna Stamoulaki , “Doctors without Borders beyond borders”
Coffee breaks-meetings in English!