Refugee Week 2019: ‘You, Me And Those Who Came Before’

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A woman standing half in darkness holding her left hand vertically in front of her face One of Laura Nyahuye’s images from the Fusion Arts Exhibition

Poet, playwright and performer Inum Ellams will be in conversation with new Coventry poets, as part of Coventry Welcomes Refugee Week festival (Sat June 15-Sun June 23).

Born in Nigeria, the multi award-winning writer of Barber Shop Chronicles (National Theatre, London) and autobiographical piece, An Evening with an Immigrant, has just seen his latest play in verse, The Half God of Rainfall, finish its run at Birmingham Rep. Inum will be performing with new poets from Coventry’s Change the Word collective in a lunchtime live poetry performance on Tuesday June 18 at Theatre Absolute, 38A City Arcade, Coventry (opposite IKEA), 1-2.30pm.

Other visiting artists include Good Chance Theatre Company, which produced the acclaimed sell out production The Jungle in London’s West End of London after months with refugees in Calais. More than 20 culturally inclusive events will be taking place including free taster workshops, ‘share your language’ Rhyme time sessions and opportunities to voice opinions at workshops held in the Coventry Cathedral Ruins and at Central Library.

Highlights include:

  • An International Craft and food Fair, Broadgate, (Sat June 15).
  • An Out in the UK forum looking at issues facing challenges faced by LGBT asylum seekers in Coventry (June 17).
  • A ‘Nation’s League’ Football Tournament in University Square (Sun June 16, 11am-4pm).
  • A two-week exhibition of Coventry-based migrant art exhibition curated by Maokwo (June 21-July 4); Mindful me Open Deck Music Sessions (June 18-21); African drumming performance (June 19), live performance by Leamington-based international dance company Motionhouse (June 20), Synthcurious installation (June 18-21) and a World Music Day (Fri June 21).
  • Party in the City, Broadgate, Coventry city centre, (June 22) – a one-day family-friendly arts & music summer festival celebrating multiculturism, diversity and migration.

This year’s theme is: You, Me and Those Who Came Before. The festival, organised by Coventry Refugee and Migrants Centre and Positive Youth Foundation, is supported by Coventry University, Coventry City of Culture Trust and Coventry City Council.

Christabell Amoakoh, Coventry Welcomes Coordinator at Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “Coventry is often talked about as a city of diversity and of peace and reconciliation and this festival puts some of those words into practice.”

See here for full details of all events: To find out more about Inum Ellam’s work check out:


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