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CELEBRATING SANCTUARY LONDON on the South Bank Sunday, 17 June 2012, 2 – 7pm

Celebrating Sanctuary London

bringing a whole new buzz to Refugee Week from 17 June

This summer, the eyes of the whole world will be on London, so Celebrating Sanctuary London 2012 will be unleashing three free amazing events across London during Refugee Week (

Sunday 17 June on the South Bank

Friday 22 June at the V&A

Saturday 23 June at Rich Mix

Bernie Spain Gardens, Upper Ground, London SE1 (adjacent to Oxo Tower Wharf)

Free admission

The annual multi-art form free festival which launches Refugee Week regularly attracts over 25,000 people, so get there early. It’s a one day festival splashing a profusion of new talent across its three stages, pulsating with the sounds of live music, the flow of the spoken word, the sizzle of food and the rhythms of dance – the cultural fruits of sanctuary.

Headlining acts include:

- Eska (Zimbabwe/UK) – Gifted composer and the voice that fronts Matthew Herbert and the Cinematic Orchestra

- Elysian Quartet (UK) and Maya Youssef (UK/Syria) – Contemporary classical British string quartet meets virtuoso qanun

- Jose Hernando Noguera and Angelica Lopez (Colombia/UK) – A BBC Radio 3 World Routes Academy collaboration of vallenata-style accordion and vocals

- Sam Lee (UK/Jewish) – the Nu-Folk sensation will be launching his debut album ‘Ground Of Its Own’ and collaborating with Algerian virtuosos Yazid Fentazi and Karim Dellali

- Plus Jeremy Hardy, subversive stand-up comedian and star of BBC Radio 4′s Newsquiz,  Cerys Matthews, singer songwriter and BBC 6music broadcaster, Lemn Sissay, playwright and poet (the official 2012 Olympics Poet), and Tanya Auclair (UK/Rwanda), the oh so soulful one woman band


Friday, 22 June 2012, 6 – 10pm

CASABLANCA at the Victoria & Albert Museum

Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL,

Free admission

Inspired by the classic movie Casablanca and its story of flight, refugees and intercultural encounters, this ‘North Africa and the Middle East meet Europe’ event will feature free screenings of the film, introduced by journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed, three amazing reincarnations of Sam in Rick’s café on three pianos placed around the museum – featuring Jewish Algerian pianist Maurice El Médioni together with Syrian-born, London-based Iraqi musician Khyam Allami (piano and oud), Palestinian singer Reem Kelani with Bruno Heinen (voice and piano) and Sierra Leonean born Alex Wilson (Latin Jazz piano) – plus dancers, sounds of souk, performance artists, gallery interventions, workshops and conversations. All of this will bring to life the film and some of the related emotion of moral and human struggle in the extraordinary and beautiful settings of the V&A.


Saturday, 23 June 2012, 2.30pm – 1am


35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA,

Free admission

An Eastern European finale for Refugee Week 2012: an all-day event at Bethnal Green’s Rich Mix on Saturday, 23 June, presenting music, dance, theatre, spoken word and a screening of a Euro 2012 quarter final from the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine.

Artists include the wondrously ethereal London Bulgarian Choir (led by Dessislava Stefanova) presented by Welsh singer songwriter and BBC 6music broadcaster Cerys Matthews who will be sharing a song or two with them, rappers Wanlov the Kubolor (Romania/Ghana) and M3nsa (Ghana), collectively known as FOKN Bois, as well as Hungarian punk artist Lazlo.



Twitter: @cslondonfest @RefugeeWeek





1. Celebrating Sanctuary London is an annual free festival which celebrates the art of refugee communities in the UK and launches Refugee Week (18-24 June 2012), a UK-wide programme of cultural and educational events which celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and aims to encourage better understanding between communities. For more information or to get involved visit and


2. Celebrating Sanctuary London is supported by the Arts Council England/ The National Lottery with a small additional amount of funding from The Mayor of London. It is programmed by curators and broadcasters Rita Ray (BBC World Service) and Max Reinhardt (BBC Radio 3  Late Junction) and creative producer Almir Koldzic (UK Refugee Week/Platforma). Celebrating Sanctuary London’s media partners include fRoots Magazine and Radio SOAS and we’d like to record our grateful thanks to BBC Radio 3 for all their assistance. Celebrating Sanctuary London on the South Bank on 17 June 2012 is brought to you in association with the Coin Street festival.


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