One Journey has announced the program lineup for its June 2nd festival. The free, day-long festival celebrates refugee talents, stories, and contributions through food, music, art, and dance – provided by refugee and immigrant performers, chefs, and artists.
“We have put together a superb lineup of storytellers, performers, artists, chefs, conversation starters, virtual reality experiences, children’s activities, and an amazing high-tech portal for live (and life-size!) conversations with refugees in overseas camps and host countries. – Co-Founder: Wendy Chan
Among the day’s highlights,
Chef Jose Andres and a refugee chef will collaborate on a cooking show as they discuss the connections among food, culture, and meeting human needs. Actor, model, and UN spokesperson Ger Duany will recount his story as one of the “lost boys” of Sudan and how he has taken action to assist aid efforts for refugees.
Music groups include: singer/songwriter and former refugee from Kenya Abraham Mwinda, Iranian singer/songwriter Kamyar Asani, Rimi Basu and the Sufi Music Experience, and acoustic guitarist, singer and Congolese refugee Jaja Bashangazi. Two music groups will introduce new songs written especially for the Festival: the celebrated Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus, which uses music to help restart young lives, and Leftist, a hip-hop band with members from Afghanistan, Cote d’Ivore, India, and metro Washington, DC.
Dance groups and instructors at the Festival include: Mexican folk dance group Bailes de Mi Tierrra, local Middle Eastern dance collective Raqs El Hob, Sahara Dance – Washington DC’s Center for Middle Eastern Dance, Terre Dance Collective, Nepalese dance from Utpalasia, and the Virginia School of Bhangra.
Technology will bring the world to Festival goers. Shared Studios’ immersive video Portals will connect them with refugees living in Iraq, Rwanda, and Mexico. The Portals bring visitors face-to-face with someone in a distant Portal live and full-body, as if in the same room. At the VR Tech Tent, Amnesty International is hosting a virtual reality experience to tell the story of a Rohingya refugee. The UN Foundation Nothing But Nets campaign’s virtual reality experience will bring to life the story of a little girl living in an African refugee camp.
Children and youth can learn how to speak and write basic phrases in a new language, build kites, create art, and make welcome cards for new refugee children in the U.S., and more. At the “World Marketplace” vendors will offer food, art, crafts and products connected with the home countries of refugees. Many of the vendors are nonprofits that assist refugees and promote sustainability.
“Throughout the day, attendees will meet refugees and their families from around the world and learn ways to get involved globally and locally. By bringing people together, our aim is to celebrate our diversity, build empathy, and encourage the support needed to bring change.” – Co-Founder: Vanda Berninger
The event will take place on Saturday, June 2, from 11am – 6pm on the Grounds of Washington National Cathedral.