A festival to mark Refugee Week is taking place for the first time in Malta from June 20 to 26.

The festival will host a series of events centred on the theme of healing: recognising the human’s ability to start again. 

Refugee Week Malta is a grassroots festival produced by Dance Beyond Borders, a duo collective led by Julienne Schembri and Deborah Falzon aimed at creating, facilitating and producing dance opportunities for people to embrace their diverse stories and unite through dance and the arts.

Refugee Week Malta's programme of events. Photo: Facebook.com/refugeeweekmaltaRefugee Week Malta's programme of events. Photo: Facebook.com/refugeeweekmalta

Refugee Week is a growing global movement whose purpose is to amplify voices and celebrate the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees through the arts, community and cultural activity.

‘Finding my Place’ – an Exhibition curated by Katel Delia in collaboration with people from the refugee community.‘Finding my Place’ – an Exhibition curated by Katel Delia in collaboration with people from the refugee community.

"The festival aims to create spaces for people to connect beyond labels and inspire a culture of care and empathy among people seeking sanctuary who live in Malta and Gozo," say the organisers.

"Forming part of a global movement, this festival was designed to share the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees through arts, community and cultural activities across the island. As producers, Dance Beyond Borders are adopting a grassroots approach to developing the festival, networking with people within the community to collaborate towards strengthening a more holistic community."

Encompassing a variety of partners ranging from creative collectives, artistic entities, NGOs, civil society networks, culinary enterprises, corporate businesses to governmental bodies, Dance Beyond Borders emphasise that they believe the festival represents the power of collaboration when striving towards one common vision.

Still from the film 'Don't Forget Me', a screen dance showing as part of Refugee Week Malta. Photo: Still from film by Emma MicallefStill from the film 'Don't Forget Me', a screen dance showing as part of Refugee Week Malta. Photo: Still from film by Emma Micallef

Through the integrated network of participating bodies and everyone’s intention to work with the people from this community at the forefront, Refugee Week Malta hopes to not just be a one-time festival promoting integration, but a festival that will continue to inspire and radiate what is possible when people join forces in collaboration on a yearly basis.

The festival has been endorsed by Counterpoints Arts, the coordinators of RefugeeWeek UK, and is supported by: Arts Council Malta; Association for Justice, Equality and Peace; Medina Asset Management, RiskCap International Ltd and TeamHumanity Norway. Information on the festival can be found here

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