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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Otis Mensah at Migration Matters 2019

In 2007 Sheffield became the UK’s first City of Sanctuary – a place that welcomes asylum-seekers and refugees, that offers a hand to people in need of safety. Over Refugee Week and the weekend running up to it, join in a celebration of diversity in the city with the Migration Matters theatre and arts festival – taking place entirely online for the first time in 2020, for a global arts celebration of sanctuary!

The line-up will feature a fantastic variety of online events and interactive workshops.

There'll be a hip-hop showcase event with Sheffield poet laureate Otis Mensah, livestreamed gigs with Koni Music, a performance by acclaimed poet Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, a panel discussion with Magid Magid and guests, and an immersive adaptation of Around the World in 80 days for children and families.

There'll also be showcases of artistic talent from Sheffield's refugee and sanctuary-seeker community, top speakers in conjunction with the University of Sheffield, as well as three newly commissioned works (to be announced soon), and a number of community workshops led by Ignite Imaginations and Maya Productions.

The festival will build on its proud tradition of bringing the people of Sheffield together and for the first time extending that invitation to people from the world to join in.

Al events are free. In order to support the festival’s ongoing work, it will be asking for donations and splitting proceeds with Sheffield-based charities supporting refugees and asylum seekers, South Yorkshire Refugee Law and Justice, and Lesbian Asylum Support Sheffield. Donate online.

See the lineup below – full schedule coming soon!

Performance commissions
Migration Matters Festival is looking to commission 2-3 new pieces of work in line with the sentiments and mission statement of the festival. They are interested in work that is exciting, innovative and challenging, and that engages with the Refugee Week 2020 theme of ‘Imagine’.

They are looking for artistic responses that can be accessible online and can be experience across various digital platforms. This could include podcasts, livestream (theatre, spoken word and music), radio, exhibitions, installations.

Apply online now – deadline 5pm, Friday 15th May.

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