The Migrant Festival
Ikon presents the fourth annual Migrant Festival – a four day programme mixing visual art, music, film and performance. The festival celebrates the contribution made by refugees and migrants to Birmingham and the UK, and highlights the migrant stories of artists in Ikon’s programme, including Abdulrazaq Awofeso and Osman Yousefzada.
For the 2022 festival, Ikon will work closely with local partners such as Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham, Migrant Voice and the Black Arts Forum to share the experiences of Birmingham’s migratory communities with a wide audience. As ever, it will include our annual Soapbox event featuring quick-fire presentations from individuals and groups supporting migrants in the Midlands.
The Migrant Festival 2022 is part of Ikon’s Arrivals programme for Summer 2022, concerned with the international movement of people and ideas and organised to coincide with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
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.
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.
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.
The 2021 festival comprised digital and live events. It was closely linked with Osman Yousefzada’s major public art installation Infinity Pattern 1 at Selfridges Birmingham.