Nottingham Beyond Borders is a volunteer-led group responsible for organising Refugee Week in Nottingham – a week-long festival highlighting the contributions of refugees and asylum seekers to the local community. Its members work or volunteer in local organisations that support refugees and asylum seekers, and actively include them in creating the festival programme.
Refugee Week in Nottingham is an act of welcome, a gesture of solidarity, and a shared celebration. It exists both to raise awareness of the reasons why people are forced to seek refuge – persecution, war, famine, abuse, poverty and civil conflict – and also to celebrate through music, food, art exhibitions, community workshops, events for children and families, performing arts and a film festival, the contributions made by refugees and asylum seekers to the economic, cultural and social life of the city.
The UK has a long tradition of hosting and offering sanctuary to people displaced from their homes and forced to take flight, and Nottingham, with its diverse and dynamic population, is proud to be associated with this tradition.
The number of refugees and displaced people in the world is increasing each year and the tragic nature of this displacement has been brought home by the poverty, hunger, and distress in Calais and Dunkirk, the desperate situation in Greece and Central Europe and the recent drownings in the Mediterranean.
Refugee Week is designed as an act of solidarity that cuts across the boundaries of place, culture and language by challenging the myths and stereotypes that misrepresent refugees and asylum seekers.