Refugee Integration Projects

Three UK-led projects chosen to support refugee integration

The results of the special Creative Europe call for projects supporting the integration of refugees have been published with 12 projects, spanning both the cultural and audiovisual sectors, selected for funding. Three are led by UK organisations and share a total of €596,303, which makes up 25.3% of the entire €2.4 million budget.

With 274 applications, the Refugee Integration Projects call attracted over three times as many as expected and the initial budget of €1.6 million was increased due to this exceptional response. 

The funding opportunity supports projects that facilitate the integration of refugees into European communities by helping them socialise and express themselves, creating platforms for mutual understanding and supporting the showcasing and co-creation of cultural and/or audiovisual works across Europe.

Contemporary arts development agency ArtReach is leading on a project entitled Refugee Journeys International. Creative Europe funding will enable the project to extend Journeys Festival International - a celebration of the work of exceptional refugee artists - to be delivered in partnership with organisations in Hamburg, Rome, Palermo and Budapest.

David Hill, ArtReach Director, said: "Everyone at ArtReach and our partners in Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth, are thrilled to have secured Creative Europe support that will significantly enhance our ongoing work through Journeys Festival International. 2016 has seen the Festival develop substantially to reach new audiences and create outstanding new work delivered by a range of refugee artists working in performing, visual and digital arts. We can now look forward, with the continuing commitment of Arts Council England, to developing exciting, challenging and wide-reaching Festivals in 2017."

Bristol-based acta community theatre is leading on Refugee Engagement and Integration through Community Theatre (REACT) with two other European partners based in Rotterdam and Palermo. REACT uses community theatre as a tool by which refugees in each country can tell their own stories to host communities. 

Helen Tomlin, acta Executive Director, said: “We are delighted to secure a second award from Creative Europe, following the successful COAST programme five years ago, which will enable us to make new theatre with refugees and share community theatre models with partners Rotterdams Wijktheater (Holland), Centro per lo Sviluppo Creativo Danilo Dolci (Sicily), and many others across Europe.”

European Alternatives leads Re-build Refuge Europe. The project brings together partners from Sweden, Spain, Finland and Germany, and in addition foresees activities in Greece. It aims to counteract the dominant discourses of ‘crisis’ and ‘threat’ by using innovative practices allowing European citizens and refugees to learn from each other as equals.

Common themes across the 12 successful projects include storytelling, training and workshops for participants and the digital arts. Four of the projects are based in the worlds of cinema, documentary and animation - either as the primary or secondary focus. With the award of the grants, work will begin immediately and run until 2018.

Refugee Integration Projects was a special Creative Europe call. Going forward, the Culture sub-programme's largest annual funding opportunity - Cooperation Projects - explicitly prioritises projects that facilitate the integration of refugees. The call for 2017 Cooperation Projects is now open.

Image: Jamal Jameel, Journeys Festival International