Across three stages in and around Bernie Spain Gardens on the South Bank, Celebrating Sanctuary features an abundance of new talent performing music, dance and the spoken word to celebrate the art of refugee communities in the UK. This free festival, now in its 11th year, kicks off Refugee Week and is part of the Coin Street Festival.
Headlining the main stage is Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars one of the most joyous contemporary bands from West Africa. The musicians have experienced the destruction and horror of war first hand and are now, through their music, ambassadors of peace. They are performing songs from their newly released second album Rise and Shine.
In the Acoustic Yurt is [email protected] Sanctuary with its cutting edge literature and acoustic music presented by award-winning novelist Patrick Neate. There is spoken word and acoustic music from a wide range of UK's refugee communities.
In the sunken gardens find the Iraqi Yurt and experience Iraqi contemporary culture with BBC Radio 3's World Routes Academy protégé Khyam Allami who is curating a programme of music, plays and poetry including Attab Haddad Quartet, Kurdish ensemble Arya, plus his own performances. World Routes presenter Lucy Duran is hosting the afternoon.
Other performances from tabla player Yusuf [Afghanistan], singer Soname [Tibet], Dhalad Iska [Somalia], Ruby and the Vines [Congo] and many more.
In the Festival Marketplace join Lamees Ibrahim and Sowing Seeds to watch cooking demos and then sample food from countries including Iraq, Afghanistan and Sundan. Plus workshops/activities for children and information stalls.
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