Migration Stories - Leonie Sloots

There are a few things that give away that I’m from the Netherlands (nope, it’s not the accent!). My surname, my love for pancakes, my happy dance when we won Eurovision and not knowing the names of certain kitchen utensils. 

I have been in Sheffield for about 3 years and have known about Migration Matters for the past 2. After having been a visitor at previous editions, being directly involved this year through my role as Project Manager is a dream come true. I have seen the work that Sam Holland and the Migration Matters team have put into place every single year and the passion that comes with it. 

Being a migrant, I’ve never been treated differently by people around me. Frankly, because I’m white and barely have an accent (‘so where are you from? Leicester?’) but behind the scenes, it does have an impact. It’s not something I like to focus on, because I am incredibly happy to be here, but it’s the little (or pretty damn massive) uncertainties that can get the better of you sometimes.

Migration Matters Festival is a wonderful place to break through these worries and not feel so alone with them, it’s a place to address the flaws in our system, a place to give a name to the all too often ‘faceless’ refugees and asylum seekers, a place to open your eyes, a place to learn and a place to celebrate. Here’s to another amazing edition and to everyone involved!

Sam Holland