Migration Matters returns for Refugee Week

Posted by: Ashley Birch
Migration Matters returns for Refugee Week supporting image

Poet and spoken word artist Benjamin Zephaniah is one of this year's headliners

Sheffield continues to celebrate migration with the return of the UK’s largest city-wide Refugee Week event

Migration Matters Festival returns to Sheffield with its biggest line up to date for Refugee Week 2019, showcasing a large spectrum of local, national and international acts that will come together to celebrate the positive impact of migration in the city and the UK.


This year’s performance headliners include the legendary poet and spoken word artist Benjamin Zephaniah performing at The Leadmill, along with The Revolutionary Minds and British Iraqi rapper and activist Lowkey.


Writer and editor of the award winning ‘The Good Immigrant’ Nikesh Shukla will join former Lord Mayor of Sheffield and recently elected MEP Magid Magid for conversation about their experiences with the hostile environment, Brexit Britain and the route into an immigrant planet at Crucible Theatre on 18 June.


Migration Matters festival director Sam Holland said: “Driven by this year’s Refugee Week Theme, ‘You, Me and Those Who Came Before’, the festival sheds light on how Sheffield and the UK has been forged by the generations of people whose cultures have shaped and made it a richer place.


“While the country has been plunged into uncertainty - a word we’ve all grown weary of, it’s essential we don't lose sight of what makes this island great: its people.”


This year’s 8-day festival will take place from 14th to 22nd June with over 60 events during what will be the UK’s 21st annual Refugee Week. Migration Matters Festival is set to continue the important work of bringing communities together to enjoy a culturally rich mix of theatre, music, film, dance, spoken word, academic talks, and food - covering key topics such as LGBTQI+ identity, mental health and activism to name a few


The opening party on 14 June at Theatre Deli promises to provide a melting pot of cultures, bringing together musical and dance acts from across Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Amongst the festival opening acts is Wara - an award-winning musical outfit that fuels its signature sound with bass-heavy dembow, biting synths and hip-hop.


The opening party will also host a performance by Hawiyya an all women’s group who explore identity, culture and resistance through Dabke, a tradition folkloric Arabic dance. The dancers will come together to unite and share their commitment to the Palestinian cause, enforcing the message of solidarity and activism through art.


For more info about this year’s event, head over to the Migration Matters’ website.

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