Academics reveal stories of young refugees as part of Migration Matters Festival

  • University of Sheffield experts to present research on young refugees’ journeys to the UK, and life as a German refugee in 1930s Britain
  • Events delivered free to a global audience as Migration Matters goes online due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • Festival celebrates contribution of migrant and refugee communities as part of Refugee Week

Family in the audince of a Migration Matters event

Academics are set to share the stories of young refugees’ journeys to the UK next week, as Sheffield’s Migration Matters Festival 2020 goes digital in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Part of Refugee Week, the festival will see experts from the University of Sheffield host free online events alongside international artists, helping to celebrate sanctuary and recognise the contribution migrants and refugees make to our communities.

At 5.30pm on Thursday 18 June 2020, Dr Jawad Shah from the University’s School of Education will give audiences an insight into his work exploring young refugees’ narratives about their arrivals in the UK. Dr Shah’s research aims to empower young people aged 14-17, enabling them to discuss their experiences of racism, and the role of family and language in their resettlement.

At 6pm on Tuesday 16 June 2020, Dr Iona Hine from the University of Sheffield’s School of English will reconstruct the experiences of Heinrich Walter Cassirer, a Jewish academic who lived in Nazi Germany. Cassirer was stripped of his position by Hitler's first anti-Jewish law, but was invited to join Oxford University, where he lived in exile throughout the 1930s. Dr Hine will reveal what life was like for a refugee in 1930s Britain.

Dr Jawad Shah from the University of Sheffield’s School of Education, said: “The Migration Matters Festival is a wonderful opportunity to commemorate and celebrate the contribution of refugee communities both now and throughout history.

“I’m especially proud to be taking part this year, when the festival’s new digital format allows audiences from all over the world to participate, and to get a flavour of Sheffield’s welcoming spirit as a City of Sanctuary.”

Other festival highlights include Sheffield poet Laureate, Otis Mensah's Live from the Incubator, a hip-hop showcase from around the world, and a performance of Pizza Shop Heroes by refugee-fronted Phospohoros Theatre will showcase.

The week will kick off with a virtual opening party with dynamic global acts such as Taiwan’s Kuo-Shin Chuang Pangcah and Music and Love Band from 7pm on Monday 15 June 2020.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

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Sophie Armour
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