Promo: Journeys Festival International Leicester. 17-26 August 2018

Eye-popping Exhibitions and Refugee Rhythms Feature at City Centre Festival.

A feast for the senses heads our way as this year’s Journeys Festival International Leicester cooks up an incredible line-up for the 6th year running. Nearly all of the events, exhibitions, workshops, screenings and activities at the Festival are free of charge so there’s no need to look elsewhere for great culture at the end of August as it will be on our doorstep.

From 17-26 August, Journeys Festival International Leicester, explores refugee experiences through great art, from a large-scale outdoor art exhibition to a full Weekender of music and international performance, there’s something for everyone within this major Leicester festival.

Highlights of the festival include; ‘Look Up’ a large scale outdoor exhibition which will be installed across the city centre; animated shorts and documentary screenings; and several art exhibitions around the city. We can also expect creative workshops, cookery demonstrations and performances from international companies, as the Festival strives to identify and exhibit the exceptional work and extraordinary talents of refugee artists.

David Hill, Director of ArtReach, Producer of the Festival told us, “This year’s Festival features our most ambitious programme to date. Personally I’m looking forward to The Weekender over August Bank Holiday weekend. These two days are hugely busy and include international street theatre performances as part of our VOICES programme, performances which have only been seen in the UK once before. The weekend also features local musician, Lydia Unsudimi, as we hold a full day of outdoor gigs in Jubilee Square on Sunday 26 August. It’s incredible to provide a platform for artists to explore refugee experiences through great art and we hope that the people of Leicester will enjoy this fabulous series of events.”

The powerful installation Suspended, by artist Arabella Dorman, which is open until August 28 at Leicester Cathedral is also part of this year’s Festival and not only can people engage with this thought provoking exhibition free of charge, there are more associated events to enjoy too. The Cathedral will host a screening of Human Flow by Ai Weiwei on 25 August and there is a special concert planned for 24 August featuring two gigs in one night, free access in the magnificent settings of the Cathedral.

Other highlights include, Future Aleppo, an exhibition by a 13 year old boy who, initially, rebuilt his home city of Aleppo in paper models as a reaction to the bombing of his hometown. Future Aleppo has since been converted into a virtual reality experience and you can witness both paper and VR installation at Phoenix during the Festival. Journeys Festival International also hosts a ‘takeover’ of New Walk Museum on 18 August, a full day of creative arts, animated shorts for youngsters, a museum re-labelling programme and other things to keep children and young people entertained. Soft Touch Arts is also involved on 18 August, as the team host cookery demonstrations, during which, participants can see world food preparation and then get to sample the goodies they have learned about that day.

It’s a seriously impressive programme and as Leicester is one of the most intercultural cities in the UK, it’s programme that will engage people from all walks of life but also a programme that helps us create a welcoming environment to those who are making this great city their new home.

To see the full programme head to or grab yourself a printed brochure from LCB Depot.

Journeys Festival International

Proudly produced by ArtReach, Journeys Festival International ( is a multi-art form platform that celebrates the talents of exceptional refugee and asylum seeker artists and shares refugee stories through great art. Journeys Festival International is now established in the cities of Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth, UK.


ArtReach is a cultural development agency and Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (NPO), which in addition to consultancy and public art commissioning has a substantial and long track record in delivering successful Festivals and arts events. Its aim is to make great art possible and accessible, connecting art with grass roots and diverse communities to forge creative engagement.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

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