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15/06/2017 - 07:00hs

Jam-packed Refugee Day schedule in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro’s Museum of Tomorrow will host a seminar on asylum and an exhibit on climate change-driven displacements. Many other events will happen starting this weekend, with the UNHCR as a partner.

São Paulo – Next Tuesday, June 20 is World Refugee Day, and a jam-packed schedule will mark the date in Brazil. The United Nations, museums and organizations will carry out cultural activities, art exhibits, fairs and discussions on asylum. The events begin in the weekend in several cities, including Brasília (DF), São Paulo (SP) and Rio de Janeiro (RJ).

Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP

Mariana dam disaster is portrayed

Rio’s Museum of Tomorrow will co-host a seminar and an exhibit with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Seminar “Voices of Asylum,” will cover forced displacements on June 20. It will begin with a global overview of asylum, featuring UNHCR representative in Brazil Isabel Marquez and Serge Makanzu Kiala, a refugee who works as a guide at the Museum of Tomorrow, plus specialists on the matter.

The seminar will then move on to forced displacements prompted by climate change. Museum of Tomorrow content writer Eduardo Carvalho explains that there are no specific laws covering these situations, which the museum terms as ‘environmental asylum,’ and that the intention is to spark debate. The final panel will focus on actions taken by refugee-oriented organizations in Brazil.

Also opening at the Museum of Tomorrow on June 21 will be the exhibition “Displaced Lives,” a partnership with Agence France Presse (AFP) and the UNHCR – a portrayal of asylum from the perspective of climate issues. The show will rely on room design, texts and photographs to portray natural or man-made events conducive to environmental asylum, including a typhoon in Myanmar and the dam collapse in Mariana, Minas Gerais.

The exhibit was created by the Museum of Tomorrow, with Leonardo Menezes as curator, Emanuel Alencar as assistant curator, as well as Carvalho himself – all of whom are Museum staff. Carvalho explains that the ethical pillars that the Museum of Tomorrow was built upon include sustainability and peaceful coexistence, hence the focus on asylum.

Elsewhere in Brazil, the UNHCR has partnered up with organizations for MigrArte, opening on Saturday (17) at Brasília’s National Museum and featuring film, music, art and gastronomy. Handicraft and food by refugees will be on display, and the film showing “Olhares sobre o Refúgio” (Perspectives on Asylum) will feature Brazilian and international movies. The showing has travelled to other parts of Brazil and is now showing at Rio de Janeiro’s Espaço Cultura Oi until June 27. It will run from June 22 to 27 in São Paulo’s CineSesc.

Another event in which the UNHCR is involved is the 1st Statewide Meeting on Migration and Asylum, hosted by the São Paulo State Secretariat for Justice and Citizenship. This event will see the launch of the UNHCR report Global Trends – Forced Displacements in 2016, with data on the humanitarian impact of wars.

On June 20, the report will be presented at Palácio do Itamaraty in Rio, and the UNHCR will launch its Criança em Fuga campaign (Portuguese for Fleeing Child), whose goal is to ensure protection is in place for refugees and asylum-seekers in Central America’s Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador).

In São Paulo, the Museum of Modern Art (MAM) and the Refugee Reintegration Institute (Adus) will host the chat Fronteiras e Culturas Borders and Cultures, featuring journalist and volunteer worker André Naddeo, who’s active in the refugee crisis in Greece, Cedric Mataawè Binoa, from Togo, and Adus director Marcelo Haydu, with moderation from artist Lourival Cuquinha. A band featuring Congolese and Angolan members will perform.

Saturday, 24, will see an ethnic fair as refugees offer products in front of the Museum of Modern Art, from 12 pm to 5:30 pm. At 3 pm, there will be storytelling from Syrian refugee Anas Obeid, a journalist who turned entrepreneur in Brazil, and Nigeria’s Shakiru Olawale Kareem, who has a background in Marketing and teaches English lessons.

Find out more:

UNHCR in Portuguese

Museum of Tomorrow – Rio de Janeiro

Museum of Modern Art – São Paulo

National Museum - Brasília

Adus – São Paulo

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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