Drawing on original documents, photographs and detainee artwork, this book offers a unique insight into the experience of immigration detention in the UK.
Together, the authors, from interdisciplinary backgrounds in art, design and criminology present views of everyday life under this form of border control. In offering a glimpse of life within these hidden sites, they explore fundamental questions about coercion, censorship and control, as well as belonging and resistance.
This book introduces the Immigration Detention Archive and reflects on the conditions under which art is supposed to be produced (and is undermined) in institutional spaces. Mixing shadow puppetry, photographic slides, video, architectural models and spoken word in the performance Men in Waiting, Carroll presents the effects of indeterminate detention, bureaucratic indifference and banality, on the subjectivity of the incarcerated.
“Reactions to those seeking security or hope through migration underpin the news on our screens and the divisions in our societies. This powerful and timely book comes from the immigration detention spaces where the politically unwanted but un-guilty are kept at the behest of UK civil servants. Based on impressive access and collaboration this archive combines photographs, documents of control and art by the detained and the book's authors. It provides an insight into the inner world of a privately run institution and its residents' narratives of escape from fear to incarceration and their as yet unrealised visions of hope. This is a very valuable resource for anyone interested in migration or detention, or creative responses to these experiences.”
—Edmund Clark, artist and author of Negative Publicity and My Shadow's Reflection