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Preview: Journeys Festival International

14 August 19 words: Emily Owen

Fancy heading a little further afield to get your arts and culture fix? Journeys Festival International in Leicester have got you covered this August... 

Journeys Festival International is a multimedia event, including outdoor theatre, live music and exhibitions, which promises to explore cultural and geographical diversity from the streets of Leicester.

Returning for its seventh year, the two-week festival is back in the heart of the community between Thursday 15 - Friday 30 August. Boasting a series of artists from fifteen international locations and UK artists working in asylum seeking countries, ArtReach are producing a spectacular array of installations, outdoor galleries and workshops.

Aided by Arts Council England funding, the event shall showcase leading international artists producing explorations of diversity through a series of different mediums. Motivated by the wonderful diversity of the Leicester community itself, the festival will be combining photography and digital collage in its innovative portrait creations across the city. The host of exhibitioners on the programme include Sibomana (Belgium and Italy) and Farhad Berahman (Iran and the UK), who will be combining their skills and working together for the Portrait of a Cityevent. The exhibition, which has received funding from both BID Leicester and The National Lottery Community Fund, is to focus on prominent buildings and Openreach cabinets in the city in an effort to promote cultural awareness across Leicester. The event will celebrate the different geographical and cultural backgrounds of residents in a remarkable visual display.

Other events include The Channel, a pop-up phone box installation which is to put a focus on communication in the city and uses tools to eliminate such barriers in the community; this can be accessed at both New Walk Museum and Art Gallery and Soft Touch Arts between August 17-22. Journeys Live, taking place on August 16, will bring this celebration of diversity to Jubilee Square with an outdoor concert brought to the city by world-class musicians. Global cuisine will also be available throughout the day as well as a mobile digital art display which can be viewed from the afternoon and through to the evening. 

This year, the festival will also be partnering with De Montfort University to present the work of Giles Duley. Recipient of the Amnesty International Media Award 2019 for Photojournalism, Duley will be exhibiting I Only Tell You What My Eyes See, a series of images documenting experiences of forced migration. The exhibition can be viewed between August 16-30, with an accompanying talk delivered by the artist on August 22 at the university.

The programme packed with music, drama and artwork across the city makes the event a must-see for families, local creators and visitors across the East Midlands. This city-wide gallery is to celebrate global cultures and identities from the centre of the local community.

Journeys Festival International will take place in Leicester between August 15-30. For a full list of events, visit their website

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