Poetry School is sharing space. We are sharing our blog and broadcasting writers’ stories of those who experience indefinite immigration detention in the UK and those who work with them. We are also sharing our physical space: three of the tales – by Patience Agbabi, Neel Mukherjee, and Bernardine Evaristo – were filmed here at the Poetry School!
Many other organisations including the Royal Society of Literature are also sharing their webpage. Over 28 days, you will find tales here, showing the fundamental power of literature to bring about change.
The UK is the only country in Europe that detains people indefinitely for administrative purposes and without judicial oversight under immigration rules. Rooted in the work of the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group, and supported by the University of Kent, Refugee Tales shares the tales of those who have been indefinitely detained in immigration detention. To highlight the call for a 28 day time limit for immigration detention, Refugee Tales is releasing 28 tales online – one each day over 28 days on the website www.28for28.org. Writers and actors lend their words and voices to asylum seekers, refugees and people in indefinite detention. Literature Cambridge supports the Refugee Tales call for an end to indefinite detention.
Through Refugee Tales, writers collaborate with asylum seekers, refugees and people in indefinite detention who share their stories. Taking Chaucer’s great poem of journeying – Canterbury Tales – as a model, writers tell a series of tales as they walk in solidarity with detainees. As they walk, they create a space in which the language of welcome is the prevailing discourse.
They have published two powerful books of Refugee Tales, with contributions by Patience Agbabi, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Kamila Shamsie, Ali Smith, and many others.