Essential Information

Date and Times Wednesday 21 June | Doors open from 5.30pm
Prices Free

Free entry for members. Not a member? Join now

Join us for a free screening of The Swimmers, as part of our events to celebrate the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

Based on a true story, The Swimmers follows the journey of two young sisters from war-torn Syria to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Yusra Mardini and her older sister Sara are both competitive swimmers living in Syria in 2015 who embark on a harrowing journey as refugees, putting both their hearts and champion swimming skills to heroic use.

BAFTA winner Sally El Hosaini directs and the indomitable Issa sisters star in this true story of triumph amid strife.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion exploring some of the themes around the film.

Panel Discussion

This discussion will explore the relentless challenges faced by the Mardini sisters and those who have experienced displacement and we look at the case and charges brought by Greece against Sara Mardini and two dozen other aid worker, as well as the current UK laws around refugees/asylum seekers. 

What actions can we take in our communities to create a shared understanding of compassion to ensure we are extending it widely to all?

About the Panel 

young woman leaning against a wooden structure with trees in background

Host: Dalia Al-Dujaili (pictured)

Dalia is an Iraqi-British freelance writer, editor, and producer based in London. She tells stories on emerging creativity from the SWANA region and diaspora, on migrant narratives, and reports on community-led stories from the margins with bylines in The Guardian, WePresent, Huck, The New Arab and more. Collaborations include Nike, Converse, TATE Galleries, BFI, the Barbican, and she has recently co-written a book with The Middle East Archive. She is the founder of The Road to Nowhere magazine – as seen in Dazed, GQ Middle East, Port and It’s Nice That – which showcases new creative and cultural writing, art, and photography about second-generation immigrants, diaspora, and migration narratives. Dalia is also the Producer of Refugee Week 2023 and has worked with migrant charities such as Paper Airplanes, Restless Beings, Counterpoints, Gaza Library, the IRC and The Migrant Rights Network.

young woman standing with her hand in her jeans

Guest Speaker: Julie-Yara Atz

Julie-Yara Atz (pictured above) is a Syrian-Swiss hybrid filmmaker and actor, their documentary "Leaving Syria: long live the youth" following a group of friends on their way from Syria to Berlin premiered at Telluride in 2017. Julie-Yara appears as a recurring character in BBC/ITV's series Shetland VI and is currently finishing an MA in Cultural Studies with a focus on storytelling in times of war in Syria. Cultural anomaly.

A women speaking into a megaphone with back drop behind

Guest Speaker: Ulrike Schmidt

Ulrike joined Amnesty International in 1979, aged 15 and is still an activist now. While building a “daytime” career as furniture-maker, music-instrument maker and teacher, she has dedicated her free time to Amnesty for over 40 years, often organising events, demonstrations and campaigns. Since 2014 Ulrike have been Amnesty UK’s country-coordinator for Central Europe which involves developing campaigns and organising public events, speaking in public, liaising with the Foreign Office and most importantly keeping the membership engaged in Human Rights Work and reaching out to wider audiences to promote Human Rights. Since 2018 Ulrike has been coordinating the Europe team at Amnesty International, all team members are volunteers. A lot of their work is focusing on the rights of refugees and campaigning against the human rights abuses perpetrated at the borders of Fortress Europe.


  • 5.30pm: doors open
  • 6-8.15pm: film screening
  • 8.20-9pm: panel discussion

Book now

painting acrylic on canvas, a black sea goddess rising from the waves

Refugee Week 2023

Find out about the events taking place at the National Maritime Museum to mark Refugee Week 2023, focused on this year's theme 'Compassion'