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Celebrating Portsmouth Refugee Week & Ports Fest 2023

432 Nomads multicultural programme for the two festivals (Refugee Week and Ports Fest) was extraordinary, leaving a profound and lasting impact on the community and participants. Over two weeks, the programme celebrated the richness and diversity of cultures, fostering a sense of unity and understanding amongst people from various backgrounds.

Months of preparation went into curating a diverse and captivating lineup of performances, exhibitions, workshops and interactive activities. Portsmouth City of Sanctuary are very grateful to the dedicated team of event organisers and volunteers at 432 Nomads working with local partners – all striving tirelessly to ensure every aspect ran smoothly.

The venues played a crucial role (accessible to all) and received a high footfall from all age groups and backgrounds. The vibrant, colourful and welcoming atmosphere, representing various cultures, created inviting immersive spaces to explore.

Asylum seeker and refugee artists/performers from around the world showcased their talents alongside local artists, presenting traditional and contemporary artistic expression.

Dance troupes swayed to the beats of their native music, musicians blended their melodies, resulting in a beautiful fusion of sounds that transcended borders and language barriers.

Visual art exhibitions showcased paintings, sculptures and crafts and workshops and interactive sessions allowed attendees to actively engage with the arts, fostering a sense of creativity, curiosity, and appreciation for cultural heritage.

We enjoyed seeing the social media posts enthusiastically shared by attendees having a wonderful time.  Enjoy viewing our gallery of photographs below:

All the activities provided cultural exchange and dialogue, and discussions provided a platform for thought-provoking conversations, promoting understanding and breaking down stereotypes. This cultivated inclusivity and respect, encouraging attendees to learn from one another.

The culinary aspect of the festival was a resounding success, with tantalizing traditional dishes, allowing visitors to embark on a culinary journey around the globe. The aromas, flavours, and textures forged a delicious bond between cultures, demonstrating food can be a unifying force.

The success of our programme was a testament to the power of art and culture in transcending barriers and bringing people together. It left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of those involved, celebrating diversity and fostering a harmonious and interconnected world.

Portsmouth City of Sanctuary enjoyed the collaboration with 432 Nomads for the festivals and thank the organisers for providing opportunities to our asylum seeker community.