Tag Archives: refugees

On the kindness of people, and the violence of the state

If I had known how hard a 10 week trial on terror-related charges for a peaceful protest would be, I don’t know how I could have faced it. It was the support people offered from the most surprising places that got us through it.

I’m one of the Stansted 15 convicted, controversially, for a terror-related offence following a peaceful blockade of a Home Office deportation charter flight, for which we narrowly escaped prison sentences last Wednesday. We thought it might be an endurance test in the courtroom which would last as long as four weeks – but it turned out to be a gruelling 10-week ordeal that showed me just how scary it is to face the threat of state intervention into your life. … Read the rest

Neville Southall tackles… Britain’s immigration system

Imagine looking out of your window and seeing bombs falling all around you. You have a wife and three children, and the war has been raging for months. There is hardly any food or water, and if you stay it is only a matter of time before one of you might be killed. What should you do: stay and risk death or move on away from the war torn areas? I think most people, including you or I, would opt to move on. But where do you move to? The next town? The next city? The next country?

War, famine, disaster, prejudice has devastated your home country – your house will be ransacked and occupied by others, you will be attacked, hungry or lose everything. The … Read the rest

Intimate Portraits Show Tender Moments in the Lives of Refugees

It is 1,942 miles from Mali to the Marcellina neighborhood of Rome. Those miles traverse two entire countries and the Mediterranean Sea. For many, they are the quantifiable distinction between danger and safety, between ethnic or religious persecution and poverty, and between the home they left behind and SPRAR, a refugee rehabilitation center in Marcellina that houses asylum seekers and aids them with integration into modern Roman society.

Photographer Serena Vittorini met two Malian men, Sidibbe, 28, and Sarabba, 20, at the center. They escaped their country separately but developed a close friendship there. Her series Foo dëkk documents their lives in Marcellina, portraying their inherent struggles yet gravitating towards the joys of acclimation to a different and better life. “My intent … Read the rest