Migration Matters Festival
Journey to Justice & Sheffield’s ‘Migration Matters Festival’
June 17-25 2022
Every third week in June during ‘Refugee Week’ in the UK, the Migration Matters Festival, returns to Sheffield. It’s an international arts festival celebrating the contributions of migrants & refugees who have come to Sheffield. Creating a platform to champion the voices of people whose identities are often marginalised, Sheffield’s Migration Matters Festival is one of Britain’s biggest festivals – it’s a city which has a proud record of welcoming people from the far reaches of the world. Sheffield opened its doors to those most in need and became the UK’s first City of Sanctuary in 2007.
The festival brings together Sheffield’s communities through art, performance and celebration.
This year, Mark Hutchinson, formerly JtoJ Chair and one of our founder members, was invited to speak as part of the Welcoming Cultures Exhibition, about the history of Roma culture in Sheffield and contemporary Roma partnerships with communities, often through sport and dance. The Roma community played a significant part in JtoJ Sheffield in 2016.
Mark also spoke about his own heritage and journey to Sheffield. He told of his parents’ arrival as part of the Windrush Generation and wove a thread through to his own upbringing and experiences that led him to join JtoJ. As a member of JtoJ, Mark was able to share Roma/Refugee stories of the Holocaust, such as the life of Johann Rikell Trollmann and of a local figure, Rabbi Howells. In his former role as a History teacher at High Storrs School, Mark has introduced hundreds of students to these important stories.
The festival’s central aim ‘is to bring together all the people of the city, all Sheffielders to recognise each other and to see people not for the labels that divide us, but for the unique talents and skills that make us who we are.’
This year’s Migration Matters Festival was a very well-attended, memorable and highly stimulating event, especially important at this time of the UK’s detention and inhumane asylum system. We fully endorse the linking of Journey to Justice to this vital festival, celebrating the positive contribution migrants and refugees have made to Sheffield and the UK. Also, it was a great opportunity to make links with like-minded local organisations such as Equalities and Human Rights UK.