New Refugee Tales launch to raise awareness of indefinite detention of migrants

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The University of Kent welcomes Volume IV of Refugee Tales, the latest in the series of books that shares the stories of people who have experienced indefinite immigration detention in the UK.

Published by Comma Press, the book will be launched at an event hosted by the London Review Bookshop, coinciding with the 70th Anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention on 28 July.

The Refugee Tales project, which began in 2015, centres on an annual walk designed to raise awareness of the situation of those held in indefinite detention in the UK. It was initiated by Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group in collaboration with refugees and people who have experienced detention, and is co-organised by David Herd, Professor of Modern Literature at the University’s School of English.

Alongside first-person accounts of the realities of detention, Refugee Tales IV includes collaborations between people with lived experience and established writers, including Dina Nayeri, Christy Lefteri, Robert Macfarlane, Bidsisha, Amy Sackville and Simon Smith.

The launch of Refugee Tales IV will be hosted online by the London Review Bookshop, featuring several contributors to the publication, including Pious, a volunteer worker with the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group who will speak from lived experience of detention.

Combining panel discussion with readings from the new volume, the event will consider what the stories shared in Refugee Tales communicate about attitudes towards people seeking asylum and reflect on how far current practices have departed from the aspirations of the 1951 Convention. The event will be chaired by Professor David Herd, the volume’s co-Editor.

Professor Herd said: ‘Refugee Tales series has achieved a great deal since its first edition but there is still much to be done in the effort to end detention. These shared insights and experiences not only serve to educate us all, but are also an opportunity to highlight the challenge that is still before us as we look to end the UK’s practice of indefinite detention and to highlight the growing use of detention internationally.’

Refugee Tales IV