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Virtual festival to celebrate Page Hall community

Events this weekend will highlight diversity in dance, music, poetry and more.

Page Hall 7681

Page Hall festival takes place from 26-27 March.

Page Hall Festival.

A series of virtual events this weekend will celebrate the talent and community spirit of one of Sheffield's most diverse neighbourhoods.

The first-ever Page Hall Festival aims to reflect the neighbourhood through performances, screenings and workshops, and will feature events co-produced with the local community.

Highlights include poetry from Warda Yassin and Otis Mensah, a performance by Roma dance troupe Romano Jilo and contributions from Fir Vale School and the Oasis Academy.

"This festival will be celebrating Page Hall’s community spirit through a widely representative event bringing together voices of all backgrounds, young and old", said organiser Sam Holland.

"We encourage all Sheffielders to experience the festival and learn more about the amazing people who make this community."

Saturday will feature a screening of Horvath, a documentary about a family of Roma Slovakian Thai boxers living in Sheffield.

Made by Hidden Pictures North, the film follows the Horvath family over three years, from patriarch and experienced athlete Ladislav to eight-year-old son David who is fighting for the first time.

Saturday's line-up also includes performances by the Gypsy Miro Bystrany Band, and interactive workshops on how to make gingerbread families, clay mobiles and family journals.

The festival has been put together by the team behind the long-running Migration Matters Festival with support from Sheffield City Council. All events are free and will be available on the festival's website and Facebook from 5pm on Friday.

It runs alongside two other projects which look to celebrate a community that has sometimes been subject to negative coverage in the corporate media.

PHF Poster

Page Hall Smiles will bring together Roma and non-Roma residents to co-create a short film and a digital scrapbook exhibition focused on the experiences, identity and voices of Page Hall.

Turning the Page will explore the past 10,000 years of Grimesthorpe's and Page Hall's history, as well as the people from all over the world who have contributed to the area.

Originally planned as an in-person event, the third national lockdown has forced organisers of the Page Hall Festival to move its inaugural edition online.

“The pandemic has been such a challenging time for this city, and while we’ve been coordinating the festival, we’ve spoken to many of the residents of Page Hall", said Holland.

"There have been difficulties there but also enormous resilience, strength and kindness."

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