SCOTLAND’S First Minister will launch an anti-racist festival in her constituency this weekend as it returns with more than 50 events scheduled.

The Govanhill International Festival and Carnival was set up in 2016 as an “antidote” to racism towards Eastern European communities in the diverse area, which is home to people of 40+ nationalities speaking more than 60 languages. 

Over five years the celebration has turned from a weekend carnival to a two-week festival featuring talks, film screenings, live music, exhibitions and children’s activities.

Although the events kick off today and run until August 15, Nicola Sturgeon will open this year’s carnival on Saturday.

The 2021 programme includes the second instalment of Simon Murphy’s Govanhill Street Level photography series, a Love Music Hate Racism music festival and a talk from Stand Up To Racism Glasgow on the protests which thwarted the Home Office’s attempted dawn raid on Kenmure Street earlier this year.

The National:

Fatima Uygun, manager of Govanhill Baths Community Trust, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to deliver such a fantastic and diverse programme for this year’s festival.

“Although it’s been difficult, the last year has highlighted the power and strength of the community. Everyone really rallied together to support one another. There’s never been a better time to celebrate Govanhill.”

The festival organisers have advised that all events will adhere to Scottish Government Covid-19 guidelines with social distancing in place and numbers limited.

The full programme can be viewed here.