Refugee Week celebration at Cliftonville Cultural Space

Artist Anastasia Tory Tyranova-Romanchuk will be showing her work

A celebration of Refugee Week will be held at Cliftonville Cultural Space, in Albion Road, from Thursday (June 15).

The nationwide festival marks the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary and runs from June 15-25.

The Thanet venue will hold a programme of events, exhibitions, workshops and talks around the theme of Compassion with accompanying activities at 101 Social, in Northdown Road, and Margate’s Turner Contemporary.

The festival opens with There’s Got to be Some Light, an exhibition of work by Anastasia Tory Tyranova-Romanchuk, a surrealist artist from Odesa who left Ukraine in Spring 2022 and is currently based in East Kent.

Her work reflects on the duality of life – safety/danger, love/hatred, strength/weakness, stability/chaos – and how despite all the confusion and fear, there has to also be some light.

Anastasia said: “I was never good with words, that’s why I chose painting and sculpture to express my thoughts and feelings.

“In my opinion visual art is the international language that can appeal to anyone on a deeper level of understanding. Art is the search for meaning. I’m working in mixed media – mainly with clay.

“Ceramics give you multiple opportunities to explore and express yourself.  But at the same time you can make irreversible mistakes. It doesn’t allow you to cheat and teaches you to be patient. In many ways it’s very philosophical and I can compare working in this media with the process of living life itself.”

The work is accompanied by The Museum of Ukrainian Victory. This is a digital exhibition of 3D reconstructions which shows the war’s destruction and the hope of the Ukrainian people.

The exhibition is open from 11am – 4pm  Thursday 15th – Saturday 24th June (closed Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th June).

Join the artist at 6.30pm on Saturday 24th June, when she will be in conversation with Ukrainian architect Yulyia Frolova on the future rebuilding of Ukraine.

Lunatraktors. Pic: Sam Grady

On Friday 23rd June, broken-folk duo Lunatraktors return to Margate with a mix of tonal percussion, tap-dance and harmonic singing, focusing on music that reflects the migrant experience.

Choreographer and percussionist Carli Jefferson and vocalist and researcher Clair Le Couteur set up Lunatraktors in 2017 and strip folk songs down to bare bones.

Lunatraktors’ blends Le Couteur’s self-taught overtones and four-octave range with a hybrid of tap dance, flamenco and body percussion, which Jefferson developed after touring with STOMP (2001-2004). Their debut album This Is Broken Folk made MOJO’s Top Ten Folk Albums of 2019. Their second studio album The Missing Star reached MOJO’s #2 in 2021.

On Thursday 22nd June, join Carli Jefferson and Clair le Couture in a workshop finding a common language through simple dance steps and body percussion. Suitable for all age groups and abilities.

Workshop:  6pm – 7.30pm, Thursday 22nd June;  Performance:7.30pm on Friday 23rd June.

A Refugee Tales walk on Saturday 24th June brings together events at all three venues. Starting at Turner Contemporary, the walk takes in exhibitions at each participating venue. Learn about Refugee Tales’ monthly walks as well as Cliftonville’s past as a haven for refugees and migrants.

The event finishes at Cliftonville Cultural Space with tea and cake – and a performance from the Community Whistling Choir, led by Iranian artist Aliaskar Abarkas.

The festival closes with Folk Connection on Sunday 25th June. Take part in an afternoon of folk music and circle dancing from Europe and beyond – from Belgium, Brittany, France, Israel, Romania, Russia and U.K. Musicians and dancers welcome. No previous dancing experience necessary.

Music notation available in advance from [email protected]

This session runs from noon to 4.30pm. Bring a dish to share during the lunch break.

Find tickets and details here



  1. art = thanets answer to everything , still i suppose a paint brush is safer than a knife in cliftonville ?

  2. I’ve been lucky enough to see a little of the work in advance and it’s beautiful. Cynical posters like the above would do a lot worse than attend and hopefully develop a little empathy.

    • Ian, the combination of “refugees” and “art” is just too much for some people. So don’t hold your breath waiting for empathy to be shown by them in their comments.

  3. It is indeed the connotation of the word ”refugee” that is the greater problem than the art.

    When, for instance, persons fleeing Nazi Germany came to this country, I am not aware that tens of thousands arrived in dinghies without passports and then complained about the standard of their accommodation.

    • What absolute drivel is this?! Art is fundamentally political!! If it isn’t saying something or making you feel something then it isn’t art! Of all the claptrap

      As for John’s nonsense.. that’s because they were somewhat busier being murdered in their millions… And where is your evidence of people complaining about their accommodation without good reason. I add that caveat because some of it is not fit for animals, let alone highly vulnerable people

      • I disagree that art HAS to say something. A landscape painting of a sunset or a life drawing of a nude can be just that, without any extra message.

        Ian, perhaps you can explain the message behind the Cliftonville art shelter? I’m genuinely curious.

      • Really!
        After a discussion at a local gallery/cafe the conclusion is you have been brainwashed bu msm or influenced via others.
        Please feel free to attend (free of charge) our arts gallery/cafe But leave your single minded attitude at home or even in the trash bin.
        FYI Friday is Meditation and Healing.
        >Peace,Love and respect<

      • Really~
        After a discussion at our local gallery~cafe the conclusion is you have been influenced by msm or other’s.
        Please attend our cafe But leave your attitude at your home or even better trash your attitude and start again.
        FYI Friday is free healing and mediation day.

        >peace, love and respect<

  4. Its such a pity that there are some sad, pathetic losers out there, who would not stand one day in the countries Refugees are fleeing from, but I wish they would, then perhaps they would be more empathetic, welcoming, and kind to asylum seekers, and refugees!

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