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Refugee Week kicks off at the National Waterfront Museum

Swansea's National Waterfront Museum is backing a week-long campaign designed to highlight issues affecting refugees in Wales.

Refugee Week in Wales (15 to 21 June) will launch this Saturday (13 June 10am till 4:30pm) at Swansea's National Waterfront Museum with a free event featuring world music, dance, children's activities, a photographic exhibition and much, much more.

This year's theme, different pasts, shared future will be highlighted across the nation and aims to raise awareness of issues affecting refugees and celebrate their contribution to life in Wales. Hundreds of activities will be taking place to support the campaign ranging from small community and school activities to art exhibitions, political debates, film screenings, conferences, big music festivals, sports events and so on.

Within Swansea, a number of organisations and groups have teamed up to jointly promote and celebrate the week. Within the grounds of the Museum, visitors will be able to see a range of world music and dance including hip hop performances from the African Centre Youth Forum, a drumming parade by Samba Tawe and musical interludes by Swansea-based Kurdistan Folk group, Cougar Band, an African Caribbean musical group from Cardiff and 2 RUDE, a seven piece band from Newport.

As well as staged performances, Swansea's City of Sanctuary will house a marquee within the Museum's grounds. Visitors will be able to meet a wide range of groups that work closely with refugees and asylum seekers throughout the city as well as listen to a selection of live music and poetry.

Within the Museum, there will be a Refugee Council Wales photographic exhibition and adult workshops on dispelling the myths. There will also be lots to keep young people entertained including stints by Circus Eruption, an empowering youth circus in Swansea for young people aged 11-19, and the City and County of Swansea's play bus.

But the day does not stop there. During the evening, Theatre Forum will host a workshop in Swansea Museum followed by Ice and Fire Asylum Monologues - dramatisation taken from real asylum seekers experiences.

"We're delighted to be hosting the Wales launch here at the National Waterfront Museum," said Community Learning Officer, Sue James. "It's a fantastic way to raise awareness and understanding of the issues many refugees face in Wales and how they contribute to Welsh society.

"The events and activities scheduled for the day are so diverse and there's something for everyone. It's an opportunity for us all to experience and celebrate the rich diversity of refugee communities through dance, music, workshops and photography," she added.

Tom Cheesman, Treasurer of the Swansea Bay Asylum Seeker Support Group, said: "This event will be a great opportunity not only to celebrate Refugee Week and what it stands for, but to highlight the many reasons why people have to flee their countries. The selection of acts lined up look fantastic with lots of different local community groups taking part. It's set to be a great event."

For more information, or to set up a photo opportunity, please contact Marie Szymonski, Marketing Communications Officer on 01792 638970.

The launch event is being funded by the Community Activities Fund of Refugee Week Wales, Refugee Council Wales.