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Refugee Week Greece 2024 celebrates the cultural contributions of refugees

Refugee Week Greece includes screenings, workshops and concerts.
Refugee Week Greece includes screenings, workshops and concerts. Copyright Courtesy of Refugee Week Greece
Copyright Courtesy of Refugee Week Greece
By Elise Morton
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Timed to coincide with global Refugee Week (17-23 June) and World Refugee Day on 20 June, Greece is spotlighting forced migration with a week-long festival of film screenings, workshops and exhibitions.

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Few European nations are as impacted by the refugee crisis as Greece – the first port of call for many hoping to reach Europe. 

Amidst reports of poor treatment of refugees and those seeking asylum, Refugee Week Greece is setting out not only to educate the Greek public, but to “celebrate the contribution, creativity and authenticity” of those who have experienced forced migration.

“Greece holds a crucial position as a gateway to Europe for many displaced individuals, making it a central point in the refugee and migrant experience,” Refugee Week Greece senior producer Dina Ntziora tells Euronews Culture. “Hosting Refugee Week in Greece is particularly important as it highlights the nation's unique role in this ongoing narrative and the diverse cultural fabric it creates.”

Refugee Week Greens runs 17-23 June
Refugee Week Greens runs 17-23 JuneCourtesy of Refugee Week Greece

Now in its third year, the 2024 festival builds on the global Refugee Week theme ‘Our Home’, centring on creating a welcoming, safe and sustainable place for all. 

The timetable features film screenings (with festivities kicked off by a launch screening of acclaimed 2022 film The Swimmers on Friday in Athens); photography exhibitions, including images of ‘Athens through the eyes of Ukrainian women’ and the ‘Beyond the Threshold’ show, displaying photos by refugees (adults and children) on the theme of home; a musical celebration in Lesvos; sports and dance workshops; and community meals celebrating the diverse culinary traditions of displaced people, as well as the strong memories that food can evoke.

Among the festival’s chief aims, Ntziora says, is to “provide an opportunity for artists from diverse backgrounds to showcase their talents and share their experiences”, all with the engagement of a “receptive and supportive audience”.

Refugee Week Greece includes cultural and sporting events
Refugee Week Greece includes cultural and sporting eventsCourtesy of Refugee Week Greece

Ntziora hopes this audience will be “diverse and inclusive”, including “locals, refugees, migrants, families, students, professionals, and policymakers”.

“We hope attendees will leave with a heightened sense of empathy and a greater commitment to supporting displaced individuals in their communities,” she explains.

Fittingly for this year’s theme, she underlines that “by highlighting the rich tapestry of our diverse community”, Refugee Week Greece aims “to cultivate a more compassionate and equitable society where everyone feels valued and at home”.

Refugee Week Greeceruns 17-23 June in Athens and other locations in Greece.

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