Skip to main content
Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Welcoming Voices Memory, migration and music


There are many studies of migration that focus on the economic and social impact of immigration, but the effect that migration has on cultural practices is less explored. Working with Lithuanian and Polish communities in Lincolnshire between 2016 and 2018, and engaging with local communities through events, outreach activities and interviews, the Welcoming Voices project explored the connections people have and have had with song in their migratory journeys. Played out against the backdrop of tensions surrounding Brexit, the research seeks to explore how engaging with popular music, and especially song, plays a role in assimilation, reorientation, and displacement processes. By listening to the migrants' own voices, this article considers the subtle, personal and communal ways in which song can inform a sense of self. Where conventional understandings of citizenship might relate to national identity and the idea of the nation state, it discovers that transitional experiences of migration can construct `notion-states'-fictive imaginings of both origin and destination countries which are often articulated through personal and emotional relationships with song.


Performance Research


Dominic Symonds (United Kingdom)

Article meta

Country / region covered

Populations studied

Year of Publication

Source type