Festival on human rights issues returns to Leicester

by Nathan Rodrigues

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‘Not My Good Arm’ band performing at the festival’s Music without Borders event last year (Image source:  Ambrose Musiyiwa/ CivicLeicester)

Leicester Human Rights Arts and Film festival is set for a return to the city next week, as it will host a series of events which focus on important human rights issues at home and abroad.

The festival, which runs from December 4 – 10 and is free to attend, features a range of programmes which includes a live political debate on the British and EU response to the refugee crisis, a discussion on connecting local communities and the ‘Music without Borders’ fundraiser, where many city based musicians and bands will perform to raise money for refugee charities After18 and LE Solidarity.

Festival organiser, Ambrose Musiyiwa said: “The festival’s aim is to facilitate engagement in human rights issues, as issues that affect us in Leicester also affect people in other countries.”

The event aims to raise awareness of a ‘vast range’ of human rights issues locally and globally.

Ambrose cited the negative perceptions of immigrants as an example of why considering human rights is especially important to a multi-cultural city like Leicester.

He continued: “For example, certain politicians and sections of the British media ramp up anti-immigrant rhetoric, which effectively creates a hostile environment for the majority of people in Leicester because they come from immigrant backgrounds.

“Leicester’s diversity and plurality is something that needs to be defended and celebrated because of its positives, so the festival is part of that defence and celebration in highlighting much needed conversations and ways of doing things that need to be improved on.”

Each year, the festival addresses different topics on human rights through various formats including letter writing campaigns, film screenings and art exhibitions, as well as also drawing attention to International Human Rights Day, which is observed every year on December 10.

Furthermore, whilst admission for the ‘Music without Borders’ event is free, those attending will be encouraged to donate to the supported charities, as the event will also be used as a drop off point for groceries to be handed to the Red Cross in Oadby, to distribute to those who are destitute.

Ambrose, who has organised the event since it started in 2014, added that ‘where possible’, the festival also tries to incorporate suggestions given by the public on potential topics for the future festivals.

For more information on the full 2016 programme for the Leicester Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, you can log onto: hraffl.wordpress.com/programme/.

 

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