Refugees: Thursday 19th February 2015
The Bristol Bike Project (18 min) tells the story of the project from the perspective of two people applying for political asylum to stay in the UK, Daahir from Somalia and Aziz from Afghanistan. In this way the film attempts to draw together the different elements that the Bike Project represents, namely cycling, recycling and giving help to disadvantaged and marginalised members of society, in this case political asylum seekers. It has been very well-received and has been screened around the world as part of the Bicycle Film Festival. The Ministry of Education in Georgia also included it as part of their methodology of teaching through documentaries.
The Gardens of St George (17 min) is a short film is about an Asylum Seeker’s Allotment Project in the St George’s area of Bristol. The allotment project is used by political asylum seekers from all around the world, as a space where they can come together to learn horticultural skills and where they can enjoy a communal and peaceful space to offer some respite from their social alienation. In the last few months, The Gardens of St George has played at environmental and human rights film festivals in Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, Barcelona, Belgrade and Bratislava.
Thursday 19th February 2015, 1pm Glass Tank
With introduction by Alistair Oldham, Bristol based documentary filmmaker who specializes in making films about environmental sustainability and artistic and creative practices and the space in between. He keeps an occasional blog of his filmmaking activity.
Asylum Monologues (25 min) is a first-hand account of the UK’s asylum system in the words of people who have experienced it. Launched at Amnesty International in June 2006, it has been touring the UK ever since. The script is regularly updated with new testimonies. Ice&Fire explores human rights stories through performance. They work in four main areas: production, outreach, education and participation. Founded in 2003 by Sonja Linden, the company sees theatre as the natural medium to communicate stories that make real and relevant the impact of human rights issues on our everyday lives. Through active involvement with human rights themes they creatively respond to key issues affecting our society and the world beyond. In 2011, they were shortlisted for the Liberty Human Rights Arts Award.
Evaporating Borders (73 min) is a visual essay in five parts, told through a series of vignettes that explore the lives of asylum seekers and political refugees on the island of Cyprus. Cyprus is one of the easiest points of entry into Europe. Through the microcosm of the current situation in Cyprus, the film explores tolerance and immigration practices throughout Europe and the Western world - where migrating populations have become subject to a variety of human rights abuses. The film looks at what it means to be displaced and examines the idea of belonging and notions of diaspora, exile, and migration.
Thursday 19th February 2015, 7pm Chakrabarti Room, JHBB
Followed by a panel discussion featuring:
Barbara Harrell-Bond OBE, Professor Emerata, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. Dr. Harrell-Bond is a legal anthropologist with many years of research experience in Sierra Leone and throughout West Africa, specializing in family law, administrative law, and dispute treatment in ‘customary’ courts. From 1982-1996, Professor Harrell-Bond founded and directed the Refugee Studies Centre the University of Oxford. On retirement, she conducted research in Kenya and Uganda on the extent to which refugees enjoyed their rights in exile - with teams of lawyers in both countries. One of the outgrowths of this action research was the establishment of the Refugee Law Project at Makerere University in Uganda. She also began a refugee legal assistance program in Cairo, AMERA-Egypt in 2000, as well as the Africa and Middle East Refugee Assistance (AMERA) in 2003, as a UK-based charity. She is now the Director of FAHAMU’s Refugee Programme and Coordinator of the Southern Refugee Legal Aid Network, hosted by FAHAMU and currently developing the information platform.
Leandros Savvides is a social and political scientist. He was born in Nicosia, Cyprus and has been researching social and political issues in the UK, EU and more extensive in Cyprus. At the time of filming Evaporating Borders, due to his specialization in the field of migration and critical race theory, he was working at KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism an activist NGO organization that supports migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and victims of trafficking, whilst also coordinating its Social Center. He conducted extensive research in precarity of migrant labour, detention practices and racist discourse analysis during his work at KISA.
Alexander Betts is Director of the Refugee Studies Centre and Leopold Muller Associate Professor in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford, where he is also a Fellow of Green-Templeton College. His research focuses on the politics of refugees and humanitarianism, with a geographical focus on Africa. His recent publications include Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement (Cornell University Press, 2013) and Implementation in World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice (Oxford University Press, 2014). He previously worked for UNHCR and is member of the Transformation Through Innovation thematic working group of the World Humanitarian Summit. He founded the Humanitarian Innovation Project.
Hazel Healy is an editor at New Internationalist. Over the past decade she has written extensively about immigration. A recent magazine for NI investigated the scandal of migrant detention (in Oxford, the UK and across the world). Earlier work has highlighted campaign wins by Senegalese street sellers in Madrid and the plight of destitute asylum seekers in Manchester, where she once ran a refugee advocacy organization by day and a No Borders group by night. Her writing has also been featured in The LA Times, La Agencia EFE and The Guardian.