Horizons Festival Friday 16 – Saturday 17 June 2023

We're delighted to announce, together with our partner HOME, that the Horizons Festival is back this June

We Are All Manchester.

The Horizons Festival is back at HOME on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 June.

Horizons celebrates the enduring power of creativity and the incredible international artists who have made Manchester their home.

Join us at HOME for an action-packed programme of spoken word and storytelling, music from the global diaspora, artist-led film, visual art, dance, and discussion. The weekend is a place to enjoy family-friendly workshops and performances.

Horizons features artists from countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan, Palestine, Syria, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.

“Horizons is a festival that is designed with an understanding of our needs, ambitions and realities; not just as an artist, but as a migrant as well.”

Emmanuela Yogolelo 

The festival invites people to come together, connect, learn, stand in solidarity with, and share the traditions and talents of people forced to leave their countries and make Manchester their home.

“We can choose to see refugees and asylum seekers as people who make our country and society richer and more beautiful through culture, creativity and innovation.”

Rethink Rebuild Society’s Mustafa Alachkar who came to the UK from Syria in 2005.

Manchester is stronger because of our shared humanity with the many people from across the world who call this city home.


The festival opens on Friday with the ground-breaking film A Monster Outside Freedom Laws exploring gender and the experience of displacement by filmmaker Nnull. Discover more about the impact of climate change and environmental degradation on people around the world and the consequences experienced by those fighting to stop it through a series of short films, including the powerful Berta Vive.

The HOME café bar will be buzzing. See the community exhibition in the Inspire Gallery, created by Syrian artist Manya Alkhmri and local families, including those who are new to the county. Experience a unique Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony accompanied by music, juggling and dance from Masresha Wondmu, energetic dance performances from South Africa and beyond.   Then chill out with Balkan and Slavic music and song from Sanja Cin

Friday ends with We Are All Manchester, an evening of spoken word and storytelling touching on wide-ranging themes from the women’s rights movement in Iran, the hopes, fears, and guilt of a Ukrainian refugee to freedom fighters in Afghanistan.

On Saturday, Horizons has a community and family-friendly focus. Enjoy family-friendly workshops where families enjoy music making with Persian musicians Parisa Pirzadeh and Fariba Taghypoor; storytelling with Iraqi theatre artist Abas El Janabi; Palestinian folk dance with Fares Farraj, and drama with Ukrainian actor and performer Val Lukianets. Book one workshop or book all.

The festival wraps up on Saturday night with the We Are All Manchester gig night, compered by MC/rapper Meduulla, featuring Waran, a new folk ensemble sharing music rooted in Farsi, Lori and Kurdish styles. Finally, Sakuba Music will get you up and dancing with the mesmerising, high-energy sounds of Congolese Soukous.

“I’m excited to be part of a festival that champions creativity and celebrates the beauty of difference.”


Events are FREE or pay what you can.  

Booking is required for many of the events.

Book here

We’ve been working with two Assistant Creative Producers – Masresha Wondmu who has been based at CAN and mandla who has been based at HOME – in the preparation of the festival.

We want to thank them for all that they’ve done to develop this year’s exciting festival.

The Horizons Festival is produced by Community Arts North West and HOME as part of Refugee Week.

Horizons is an important aspect of CAN’s Exodus programme, which was established in 2006. Exodus has pioneered new-migrant-led artistic practices and supported the inclusion and profile of hundreds of artists who have experienced forced migration who have settled here and have enriched and diversified the region’s cultural life.






The Lankelly Chase Foundation has contributed to the Horizons Festival. 

CAN is supported by