Refugee Week at Southbank Centre

Refugee Week Southbank Centre:

Monday 15th June to Sunday 21st June

Counterpoints Arts and Southbank Centre celebrate Refugee Week UK


Counterpoints Arts, in partnership with Southbank Centre, marks this year’s Refugee Week and World Refugee Day with a series of events highlighting the many contributions refugees make in the UK.

The programme is delivered in partnership with Counterpoints Arts, with contributions from a number of organisations including Music Action International, Cultural Cooperation, Gatwick Detainee Support Group with Refugee Tales, and a number of choirs for Big Sing.

Join us for a week packed with live performances, workshops, drop in activities and opportunities to get involved.

Josephine 5On 20th June we will host a special performance bringing together singer-songwriter Josephine Oniyama and members of the UK-based Heritage Survival Band from Harare, Zimbabwe.

Since her early days of circuiting Manchester’s live music venues with her guitar in hand, Josephine has carved a strong reputation with her critically acclaimed album ‘Portrait’ in 2012. She has toured internationally and shared a stage with artists like Paloma Faith and Paulo Nutini. Described by the Times as having a Grace Jones-like hint of Jamaican to her voice and a hypnotic way with precisely phrased poetry”, Josephine’s candid soulful vocals draw upon a truly global palette including her Liberian and Jamaican heritage, citing artists like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti and Joni Mitchell as influences.

“I am pleased to support the Celebrating Sanctuary London Festival this year for Refugee Week. It’s given me an opportunity to work and share experiences with the talented musicians, Zee and Norman from the Heritage Survival Band. In our performance at the South Bank I will be adding my voice to the many who recognise the importance of providing ‘sanctuary’ and the contributions that refugees make to our cultural landscape.” Josephine Oniyama

Josephine will be joined onstage by Zee Guveya and Norman ‘Jekanyika’ Muza from The Heritage Survival Band – one of the most prolific Zimbabwean acts in the UK, whose members have performed with great Zimbabwean music legends such as Dr Thomas Mapfumo and Oliver Mutukudzi. Formed and based in Greater Manchester they combine infectious rhythms made to make you dance, with Afro Jazz and traditional Mbira influences. Within their lyrics they explore social justice themes such as war and poverty as well as ‘life and love’. The multi-instrumentalists will be bringing guitar, vocals, mbira, and bass to the mix.

To celebrate the World Refugee Day on the 20th June we will host national organisations who offer support and services to refugees in this country. They include UNHCR, Refugee Council, Amnesty International, British Red Cross, Freedom From Torture, Refugee Action, Migrant Help and others. These organisations will present interactive ways of learning about their work here and around the world.


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