This year, Refugee Week (20-26 June) will see a unique series of creative actions and events taking place in multiple locations across Hastings & St Leonards and beyond which highlight and value the migrant experience, promoting the Refugee Week 2022 theme of ‘healing’ through creativity and conversations. The three main events being organised and run by The Refugee Buddy Project are:

Saturday 18 June
Mr Gay Syria film screening, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery.

To celebrate both Refugee Week and June PRIDE Month, we are delighted to offer an evening at the cinema with some marvellous traditional Syrian food. Mr. Gay Syria follows two gay Syrian refugees who are trying to rebuild their lives. Will the dream come true or will the refugee crisis and the harsh consequences of being gay in the Muslim world shatter it to pieces? This screening will be followed by a panel discussion hosted by Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, and includes Laura Clarke, co-Founder and Director of Eggtooth as well as one of our project participants Basil who has direct experience of the themes of the film.

Tuesday 22 June 
‘All Refugees Welcome’ – a panel discussion exploring the dominant media narratives and the creation of public attitudes towards refugees and migrants. De La Warr Pavilion.

The panel discussion will seek to ask questions about the role images have played in our understanding of migration
and asylum seeking in the UK, the dominant narratives that prevail and the counter narratives that emerge. Most importantly it will give opportunities to discuss the impact these narratives have on individuals, families and communities settling in the United Kingdom. The panel will comprise Jessica Crombie, Amak Mahmoodian, Daniel Trilling, Maz Saleem, Shannon Ghannam and Rossana Leal.

Saturday 18 June – Thursday 14 July
Where are you Really From? exhibition, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery.

From homeland to heritage, ancestry and culture, the work displayed explores our roots, stories and sense of identity. The patchwork pieces on display were created by local people with experience of immigration and seeking refuge, and the volunteers who support them in building new lives in Hastings. Through a series of workshops facilitated by artists Jimena Pardo and Janey Moffatt, project participants shared stories, reflected on the objects, images and words they used in their patchwork, and learnt a variety of stitching techniques to bring everything together.

On Friday 24 June there will be a feast of Syrian food cooked by community chefs, shared together near the beach at West St Leonards and you are encouraged to join a bike ride along the seafront, starting at the Labyrinth: Bike Lab Hastings at 5pm and ending at the new Community Café on Bexhill Road.

“We are delighted to be coordinating this amazing selection of Refugee Week activities having spent the last two years with our activities mainly online, especially as this year marks 5 years since we set up the Project! We encourage everyone to grab a map from one of the participating galleries or shops, or our Community Café, and you’ll be sure to find an event (or five) which suits you. We look forward to celebrating Hastings and St Leonards as a community of welcome, standing in solidarity with all people seeking refuge”, Rossana Leal, Founder and Director, The Refugee Buddy Project.

For a full listing of events and actions visit

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