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The Migrant Festival

19 August — 22 August 2021

For the full list of festival events visit our What’s On section or download the programme.

Ikon presents the third annual Migrant Festival. A four day programme mixing visual art, music, film and performance, it celebrates the contribution made by refugees and migrants to Birmingham and the UK, whilst bearing witness to the hardships and sacrifices involved.

The 2021 festival comprises digital and live events including performances by musicians curated by Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham; our annual Soapbox event featuring quick-fire presentations from individuals and groups supporting migrants in the Midlands; talks with artists including Keith Piper with Robert Beckford and Felicity Allen; plus a series of family events and guided tours. The Migrant Festival 2021 is organised to coincide with Ikon’s exhibition A Very Special Place: Ikon in the 1990s.

The Migrant Festival 2021 is supported by Birmingham City University, Brindleyplace, Freelands Foundation, Paul Mellon Centre and Selfridges.

History of The Migrant Festival

Ikon’s first Migrant Festival took place in 2018 and was co-curated by artist and designer Osman Yousefzada, to coincide with his first solo exhibition. Read more here.
In 2019 the festival took place during Hew Locke’s exhibition and included a key note talk between the artist and Rt Hon David Lammy MP. Read more here.
The 2020 festival was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however Ikon and Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham presented ‘soapbox’ videos as part of World Refugee Day and Midsummer Festival. Read more here.