The vibrant festival Migration Matters, which celebrates Sheffield as the original City of Sanctuary, is back with a bang for 2017.

Migration Matters is fast becoming a cultural highlight of the Sheffield calendar, and this year’s line-up of events promises to be no exception. From the winding labyrinth of Theatre Delicatessen to the creative hub of The Arthouse, this week will see the city come alive in a celebration of Sheffield’s diverse community.

Donations raised will go to support some of the most vulnerable people in the city, through charities like City of Sanctuary and Assist Sheffield. And with all events operating a pay-as-you-feel ticket policy, it’s a great way to enjoy some culture and support some fantastic projects without breaking the bank.

Running in tandem with national Refugee Week, the festival has grown from Sheffield’s long tradition of welcome, inclusion and diversity. In 2007, Sheffield became the first city in the UK to make a public commitment to welcoming asylum-seekers and refugees, and a community-wide pride in these values lies at the heart of the annual celebration.

The festival programme boasts an eclectic mix of dance, theatre, drama, music, visual art and stories from around the world. Here’s our daily pick of events:


Opening Party
Theatre Delicatessen, 7pm-11pm
A night of global dance, music, and even dinner to kick off the festival celebrations.


Fashion: Why Refugee Women – Fashion Show
Theatre Delicatessen, 11.30am-1.30pm
Members of the Why Refugee Women organisation showcase designs from their countries of origin.

Dance/Theatre: Scatterlings – All Over & Everywhere
Tudor Square, 1pm-1.45pm
The issues of a post-Brexit world explored through folk dance and theatrics.

Literature: Comma Press – Refugee Tales
DINA, 6.45pm-7.45pm
Hear one of the authors of these collected stories of migration and detention discussing his story.


Storytelling: Sheffield Conversation Club – Folktales from around the world
The Arthouse, 5pm-6.30pm
Immerse yourself in one of the oldest traditions in the world.

Theatre: Mengting Zhuo with Helen Watkins – Before the Wall
Theatre Delicatessen, 6.30pm-7.15pm
An atmospheric live art performance that questions who is really trapped by our borders.

Music: DINA with the University of Sheffield Music Department – eMERGES
DINA, 7pm-12am
A selection of Sengalese, South Indian and Roma/Slovakian sounds performed live and reinterpreted by Bosnian DJ Zlatko.


Art: Amina Artworks – Creative Arts Workshop
Theatre Delicatessen, 10.30am-1pm
Celebrate Sheffield’s diversity in this interactive painting and mixed media workshop.

Music: DINA – Beats, Bass, & (No) Borders
DINA, 7pm-3am
Food and live music from around the world.

Theatre: SBC Theatre – Tanja
The Montgomery Theatre, 7.30pm-8.30pm
An urgently political work starring Emily Ntshangase-Wood, a former Yarl’s Wood detainee.


Dance: Umoja Dance Group
Theatre Delicatessen, 1.30pm-1.50pm
A mixture of cultural and modern dance from Congolese refugees.

Film: Otoxo Productions – El Peso de la Manta (The Weight of the Blanket)
Theatre Delicatessen, 4pm-4.40pm
Telling the story of immigrants struggling to survive on the streets of Barcelona.

Theatre: Psychedelight – Borderline
Theatre Delicatessen, 8.30pm-9.30pm
A tragicomic satire about the Calais Jungle, created by European and refugee artists.

Installation pick: The Bare Project – The Story Swap Café
Wednesday-Saturday, Theatre Delicatessen, 1pm-3pm
The only place in Sheffield where drinks can be bought with stories.

Exhibition pick: Yasmina Hamaidia – Moma K
20-30 June, DINA
North African/Belgian artist Yasmina Hamaidia showcases textual pieces that explore the primal female identity.

There’s much more going on throughout the week, so check out the festival website to find out more.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here