“I am safe – I can create” was the title of this year’s World Refugee Day celebration, which is organized by the Arts Agency “Artscape”.
Together with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), “Save the Children”, “Caritas”, the Refugee Reception Center, the organization “Padek patapti” and the international humanitarian aid organization “Doctors Without Borders”, the Art Agency, Artscape organised a festival of music, arts and participation and promote diversity and co-existance.
This year’s celebration was inspired by the United Nations Refugee Agency’s Refugee Day theme – the right to seek safety. Anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time, has the right to feel good, to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones. In the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the media’s distorted portrait of the migrant person, uncertainty about the expiration of the detention period in the migrant centers, this celebration will allow thoughts to be directed to being together, music and what we know how to enjoy together as humanity.
“Artscape” program manager Ieva Šlechtavičiūtė shares that “the Refugee Day celebration is important not only for people who have recently arrived in Lithuania and are establishing themselves in our country – refugees, asylum seekers, but also for our society: to show how many different people with their unique culture and traditions live among us and how it enriches our social environment. Celebrating World Refugee Day is a platform where everyone’s voice, everyone’s story and aspirations are important.”
Various Refugee Week initiatives are organized around the World Refugee Day around the world. During them, through cultural and educational activities, the determination and success stories of migrant people are celebrated, and community spirit is encouraged. For the first refugee week initiative in Lithuania, Artscape Art Agency has prepared a series of coffee breaks – remote (online) meetings where representatives of non-governmental organizations working with refugees and migrants who have received asylum share their work contexts. People interested in migration are invited to participate in coffee break sessions and ask questions. More information and live broadcasts this whole week can be found on the Facebook page “Refugee Week Lithuania”.
In recent years, Lithuania faced an unprecedented migration situation. It caused many feelings of uncertainty and insecurity in Lithuania. Discourses created in the media have left the population confused, forced to choose sides. The “Artscape” team invites everyone to visit the World Refugee Day and Week events, dive into the stories “first-hand” and experience what it means to celebrate in a community “without borders”.
“Refugee Week Lithuania” Artscape organised a series of talks:
- June 13 (Monday), 2 p.m. Yusufi Muhammadzoda,,The changing climate of migrants and asylum seekers in Lithuania”, Mantautas Šulskus,,Protest: Permit to live”
- June 14 (Tuesday), 2 p.m. Darshan Navaratnam, From Sri Lanka to Lithuania: the never-ending story of an asylum seeker
- June 15 (Wednesday), 2 p.m. Nodir Kurbonov,,,Migration as the story of a newly created life”
- June 16 (Thursday), 2 p.m. Agnieska Avin, “Situation of Roma refugees leaving Ukraine and problems of racial profiling”
- June 17 (Friday), 2 p.m. Giedrė Blažytė,,Research of public attitudes towards migrants and refugees in Lithuania”, Marianna Stamoulaki,,Doctors without borders beyond borders”
July 1, 2022