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Refugee Week 2020 : Books, Films and Performance


The theme of this year’s refugee week is ‘imagine’. What better way to enter another’s world and experiences than with a books or films. The following gives links to suggested titles and how to access films for refugee week.




Moving Worlds’ by Counterpoints Arts has chosen a selection of films (four feature films and five shorts) for viewing during refugee week. There are post-film on-line discussions for those who would like to join and downloadable guides to promote discussion about the films at home. Watch alone or arrange to watch at the same time as friends, distantly of course, in an online ‘watch party’!

Please note that two of the short films are said to be suitable for children – ‘Escape from England’ (age 8+) and ‘Space Refugees’ (also 8+). More children’s films are available via our ‘Children’s Page’ post. We leave you to use your own discretion when watching these films –  most of the other films do not have certifications bar ‘For Sama’ (certificate 18) and ‘Midnight Traveller’ (certificate 15)

Details of the films and how to access them is via this link:





The links below have been curated by the ‘Refugee Week’ festival website and take you to a small selection of titles. The books cover experiences in varying lands, some are written by refugees, some are fiction. The links are aimed towards specific age groups – read alone, read together or even suggest a title to a book group.

For adults:

For older children:

For younger children:

‘Sea Prayer’ by Khaled Hosseini has also been recommended. The author is a UINHCR (UN Refugee Agency) Goodwill Ambassador who wrote the book about the Syrian refugee crisis and in memory of Alan Kurdi. It is a father’s reflection, whilst watching his sleeping son, as they await the perilous journey to cross the Mediterranean. Author proceeds are donated to UINHRC. An animated version of the story can be seen on the following link:


You may also be interested in the ‘Library of Exile’. This is an installation created by Edmund de Waal (artist, ceramicist and writer) which was due to be housed at the British Museum. The installation is composed of a porcelain-covered pavilion housing 2000 books, in translation, written by exiled authors. Names of lost libraries have been inscribed into the walls and the books are eventually to be donated to the library of the University of Mosul, Iraq, currently undergoing restoration. Unfortunately, the exhibit cannot be visited currently but the online catalogue and information about the work can be explored via the link below:



‘Migration Matters’ is an arts festival which this year will take part on-line during refugee week (15-20 June 2020) enabling us all to ‘attend’. Based in Sheffield it is described as a global celebration of sanctuary and aims to bring ‘communities together through art, performance and design’.

The SBC (Stand and be Counted) Theatre is a company ‘committed to making work with, about and for those seeking sanctuary in the UK and internationally’.Amongst their performances at the Migration Matters Festival are ‘Sanctuary Songs’ on Monday 15thand ‘Where We Began’ on Tuesday 16th. The latter combines storytelling, movement and music in a multilingual exploration of ‘home’ and a celebration of personal identity. There is a live Q&A after what promises to be a thought provoking performance

For further information on the festival programme and ticket reservations ( this is a ‘pay what you feel’ event) see: