Journeys International Festival returns to venues in and around Manchester in 2018 offering a platform for refugee and asylum seeker artists. There’s a huge programme of events at venues including HOME, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, The Whitworth and National Football Museum as well as a programme of free, family events. Taking place from Thursday 4 – Sunday 14 October, the Festival offers a varied programme of exhibitions and participatory workshops, screenings and musical performances. We’ve rounded up our top ten activities for all ages to get involved.

1. Free reading opportunity: books in suitcases
Click open vintage suitcases to find award-winning novels, children’s books and short stories and poems for all ages located at North City Library, Wythenshawe Forum Library, Longsight Library and Central Library.
Fri 4 – Sun 14 Oct, various venues

2. Interactive experience: Future Aleppo at Longsight Library
Following the destruction of his beloved Aleppo (Syria), 13-year-old Mohammed Kteish resolved that he would rebuild the city – reconstructing the fallen landmarks first as paper models and then in virtual reality. Join in with paper model workshops – and experience the city of Aleppo as Mohammed remembers it.
Sun 6 Oct, Longsight Library, 519 Stockport Road, Manchester, Manchester, M12 4NE, 11am-3pm, free

3. Refugee camp art exhibition: The Invisibles’ Journey at Longsight Library
Through the efforts of the charity Secours Catholique, this special exhibition at Longsight Library includes paintings, drawings and photographs created by refugees passing through, and held at, Calais, sharing their personal stories and the reality of a life in transit.
Fri 4 – Sun 14 Oct, Longsight Library, 519 Stockport Rd, Manchester, Manchester, M12 4NE, times vary, free

4. Mother & baby film screening: Soufra (UK premiere) at Home
Don’t miss the UK premiere of documentary Soufra; the journey of the social entrepreneur, Mariam Shaar. While not a children’s film, this is an excellent way to introduce curious minds to other ways of living with Shaar spending her entire life in the Burj El Barajneh refugee camp south of Beirut, Lebanon. As part of a diverse team of fellow refugee women, Shaar launches a catering company, Soufra, which goes beyond the boundaries of the camp. Women with babes in arms only.
Mon 8 Oct, Home, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester M15 4FN. 11am, mother and baby screening, £7

5. Zine making: My Journey at North City Library
Get sticky and creative at this free zine-making workshop. Exploring drawing, graphics, text and collage, explore your personal journeys to make a ‘zine’ (mini magazine). There’s no age limit on this one, so everyone from 9 to 90 year olds are welcome.
Sat 6 Oct, North City Library, 931 Rochdale Road, Manchester M9 4AF. 11am-4pm, free

6. Welcome Banner Workshop at North City Library
In this crafty workshop, create your own message of welcome for those seeking asylum, while dabbling with embroidery, collage and the power of marrying words and texts with pictures.
Sat 6 Oct, North City Library, 931 Rochdale Road, Manchester M9 4AF. 2pm-4pm. free

7. Turkish art: Ebru (marbling) Workshop at Central Library
Explore the traditional Turkish art of marbling at Central Library. Called Ebru, the method is an ancient art for grown-ups and children using oil paints on water.
Sun 7 Oct, Central Library, St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 5PD. 11am-4pm, free

8. Free family entertainment: World Music Stage at Journeys Live in Cathedral Gardens
Enjoy global vibes including Rumba, Soukous, Sawa Blues, Township and African Jazz from Amani Collective plus street food.
Sat 13 Oct, Cathedral Gardens, Corporation Street, Manchester M4 3BG, noon-6pm, free

9. Den building and kite making workshops with Crossing Borders: Let’s Play! at The Whitworth
The Whitworth plays host to den building and kite making workshops. No need to book – just turn up.
Sun 14 Oct, The Whitworth, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6ER. 11am-4pm, free

10. Closing party: Family Creative Celebration at the Whitworth
Teaming up with Celebrating Syria, Journeys International Festival bows out in style, celebrating the wealth of global cultures of Manchester and hosting a range of workshops including performance, Arabic calligraphy and origami.
Sun 14 Oct, The Whitworth, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6ER. 11am-4pm, free

Fri 4 – Sun 14 Oct, various times, venues and prices,

Thu 4 Oct - Sun 14 Oct
John Stansfield
Published on:
Tue 2 Oct 2018