Being Detained Indefinitely
A Day of Thought, Performance and Action
Sunday 3 July 2016
10am – 8pm
University of Kent
Refugee Tales 2016 will open with a Day of Thought, Performance and Action on the subject of Being Detained Indefinitely. Speakers will include: Ali Smith, Angie Hobbs, Ben Okri, Carol Watts, Cornelius Katona, David Herd, Jerome Phelps, Marina Warner, Maurice Wren, Mary Bosworth, Patrick Kingsley, Shami Chakrabarti and Steve Collis.
The purpose of the day will be to seek to understand what it means to be indefinitely detained; to explore how the issue of detention touches on wider human themes; and to work out how the practice of indefinite detention can be brought to an end. People who have experienced indefinite immigration detention in the UK will be joined by support workers, campaigners, writers, academics, theorists, journalists and policy makers. Through a series of talks, lectures, discussions and performances the day will explore the human and political implications of this unsustainable practice, and will show how the act of story telling and listening to stories is crucial to a change of view. The ideas articulated during the day will become the basis for discussion as the Refugee Tales project moves north towards Westminster, making the event the first stage of a traveling forum.
The UK remains the only country in Europe that detains people indefinitely under immigration rules, with periods of detention lasting months and sometimes years. The forum will explore what such detention means for those who experience it and for the culture within which it operates, while also considering the increasingly harsh realities of post-detention existence. It will weigh the costs of the practice, whether human or financial, and will consider how the language that informs such practice can be made to change. The day will conclude with a series of talks and performances committed to the act of transforming the debate.
David Herd, University of Kent