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Migration Matters → Our Favourite Places – Sheffield Culture Guide

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

Migration Matters

In 2007 Sheffield became the UK’s first City of Sanctuary – a place that welcomes and offers safety to asylum-seekers and refugees. It's fitting, then, that the city is home to the UK's biggest Refugee Week festival: Migration Matters.

Since 2016, the arts festival has celebrated the positive impact that migration and refugees have had on Sheffield and beyond.

Migration Matters 2024 takes place 14–22 June. Headliners are Grammy-nominated Afrobeat duo Amadou & Mariam, genre-hopping band Sirens of Lesbos, and prize-winning poet Roger Robinson. Elsewhere in the programme there's comedy, conversation, art, theatre, film and more.

Many events are free. For others, ticket options range from free (on request) to lower price, general, and solidarity (for those wanting to pay it forward). Passes are available, giving you entry to as many events as you like.

See below for our highlights for Migration Matters 2024. And see the full programme for lots, lots more.

(un)interrupted tongues

Sat. 15 June 2024

Weston Park Museum

A creative zine-making workshop for people of colour, exploring themes of the 1947 Partition of India. With writer and community facilitator Dal Kular, inspired by her own exploration as a 'grandchild of the partition'.

Family Catwalk Extravaganza

Sat. 15 June 2024

The Montgomery

Come together in a fabulous celebration of self-expression. Four dancers go head to head in a dance, fashion and lip sync competition where you, the audience, decides the winner. Get ready to clap, stamp and make some noise for your favourite.

longerr inheritances

Multiple dates

An event in two acts, exploring jazz experimentation and what it means to bend genre and artistic expression as Black and artists of Colour. Curated by Otis Mensah, with headliners Summer Pearl and Savanna Morgan. At Yellow Arch and SADACCA.

Moving Mountains and Everything Within

Sun. 16 June 2024

Utopia Theatre, 11 Rockingham Gate, S1 4JD

Join artist Taey Iohe to delve into sounds exploring nature's perpetual movement amid currents of resistance. Drawing on a 1914 folk song by Kang Hong Sik unearthed from the archives, and its narrative of time ruptures and longing for home.

Walking From the Palm of Your Hand

Tue. 18 June 2024

Cholera Monument, 30 Norfolk Road, S2 2SX

Artist Alisa Oleva invites you to share a collective walk. Exploring our relationship to the landscape around us, what's on a horizon in the distance, and how we can walk between the two.

Celya AB: Of All People

Tue. 18 June 2024

Yellow Arch Studios

The French stand-up comedian tackles the big three: beauty, money and the void. As seen/heard on Off Menu, The Guilty Feminist and Live at the Apollo, and support act for Maria Bamford, Fern Brady and St. Vincent.

Dig Where You Stand

Wed. 19 June 2024

Soft Ground

An archival project unearthing untold stories about people of colour who have lived, worked and put down roots in South Yorkshire over hundreds of years. Discover creative responses by local artists.

Film Locos

Fri. 21 June 2024


A British Latin American film take-over. With short films telling diverse stories from fresh perspectives.

Welcoming Cultures

Sat. 22 June 2024

Millennium Gallery

A celebration of our magnificent, multicultural city, marking Refugee Week and Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month. Expect exhibitions, talks and performances from across Sheffield’s diverse communities.

Migration Matters exhibitions

Sat. 15 June 2024 — Sat. 22 June 2024

Soft Ground

A series of five exhibitions. With photography from South Yorkshire's queer asylum seeking community, Czech and Slovak Roma women’s perspectives on health, Venezuelan children's experiences of forced migration, and more. Launch evening on 17 June.

If Henna Could Speak

Sat. 15 June 2024 — Sat. 22 June 2024

Bloc Projects Meanwhile Space, 2–4 Matilda Street, 2-4 Matilda Street, S1 4QY

An exhibition centred on henna – its design, symbolic motifs and the ways it transcends bodies and borders.

Africa Calling

Sat. 22 June 2024

Tudor Square/Winter Garden, Surrey Street, S1 1XZ

Khula African Arts bring drum rhythms and dance movements from West and Southern Africa to the city centre. With two 30-minute performances and a dance workshop.