Interlude 3
How it feels to be made a migrant: restrictions, frustration and longing
in How media and conflicts make migrants
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This interlude is based on five photomontages which developed out of visualisation exercises carried out with participants in Birmingham and the UK, and a painting created by one of the participants in Nottingham UK, Prabjot Kaur. The interlude reproduces both the images as well as the discussions around the visualisation exercises. Participants were shown quotes taken from interviews with refugees in other cities and were asked to think of metaphors and images which the quote might inspire. What results are images of restriction, frustration and longing. In one of them, a man stands outside a house and cannot go inside; in another, someone is looking at food but cannot eat it because he does not have enough money (reflecting the £36/week given to asylum seekers in the UK). Another involves a woman in a relationship with a man who does not love her anymore, but who longs for the love to come back. The extreme sense of restriction experienced by life in the asylum system is most powerfully exemplified by a painting entitled ‘Life in Handcuffs’, created by Prabjot Kaur, in which she creates a self-portrait wearing handcuffs.

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