The Power of Art

EVENT: Life Seekers Aid Art Exhibition – 6 November 2021, London

Life Seekers Aid (LSA) would like to invite you to ‘The Penally Camp Exhibition’. We will be showcasing the amazing artwork of Asylum Seekers and Refugees who were accommodated at the MoD Facility in Wales. 

We are exhibiting artworks from artists who were present at the camp, the creation of which served as a lifeline and means of expression for people whose voices were being stifled. The works tell a human story of their journey, their homelands and the prosecution they have suffered along the way. They also tell of their continued mistreatment at the hands of the Home Office/The Far-Right. 

The Home Office Policies/ The new ‘Anti-Refugee Bills’, which they are currently attempting to pass, try to criminalise/dehumanise people seeking refuge in Britain. 

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Asylum, QARN and what you can do:

This will post be updated but please also see this link: for more ideas

23 October 2021:

  • Please keep an eye on the QARN website for issues that you may wish to write to your MP about, or petitions you can sign.
  • We have a Facebook page where members can post news items, comments and ideas:
  • You will see there that right now there is a campaign by many groups to get orange hearts everywhere as a sign that people support refugees, in defiance of the ‘Nationality & Borders’ Bill that is going through Parliament now. Please send us your photos for the website.
  • This Bill is so damning towards most people who will be seeking asylum, and if you know any Lords please urge them to be actively engaged in bringing amendments that would stop the proposed furtherment of this hostile environment
  • Little Amal is a giant puppet who represents the journey of child refugees. Her walk began from the border of Syria/Turkey and will end on 3 November 2021 in Manchester with an outdoor event starting 7pm at Castlefield Bowl  : The arrival of Amal to Manchester marks the end of her epic journey. In the lead up to Amal’s arrival local schools, refugee communities and Manchester International Festival will be creating a giant flock of puppet birds. Her days in Manchester culminate in a spectacular finale event. Surrounded by the communities of the city, Amal understands that she has reached her final destination. She is now ready to begin her next even longer journey: creating a new life in a new home. 
    • You could perhaps make paper birds to put in your window,  or cover the Meeting House in them to greet Little Amal. There is an origami pattern here – these work really well to impress small children 😊 :
Little Amal

Solidarity in the Hostile Environment: what can we do?

Updated 19 October 2021: Help stop the opening of a new immigration detention centre for women by a local resident in support of the rights of women and the rule of law

5 June 2021: Following our course on Understanding the Roots of the Immigration System, Woodbrooke and Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network hosted a day on 5th June: ‘Solidarity in the hostile environment: what can we do?’   

We were joined by people with lived experience of the asylum system.

Erfan Alaei was commissioned by QARN to create a painting linked to their June 2021 event ‘Solidarity in the hostile environment: what can we do’

Credit: Erfan Alaei – the painting illustrates his fears, hopes and concerns. He has experience of the UK asylum system
Fears, Hopes, Concerns Artist: Erfan Alaei 2022 

This is a summing up of the day. A report/ artwork representing the day will be available later:

This morning we listened to people who have direct experience of the hostile system:

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The Migrant Help Contract – an Orwellian creation

10 October 2021: Please write to your MP: This report is from a member of the QARN steering group who works pro bono on asylum claims. 

In September 2019 the charity “Migrant Help” took over from G4S and SERCO the contract to provide help and assistance to asylum seekers housed around England in no-choice accommodation. They also took over from the Refugee Council the contract to provide “initial accommodation” at numerous centres around the country. They took on the additional responsibility of processing support claims, formerly an in-house function of the Home Office. This was indeed a massive task for what had hitherto been a local organisation providing assistance in Dover and Kent. Yet the new contract was supposed to remedy the often glaring failures of Migrant Help’s multi-national predecessors.

Within little over a month 120 charities from throughout England were lending their names to a joint letter to Victoria Adkins, the Minister then responsible for the workings of the contract. As the single contact point for all problems with housing, including furnishing and hygiene, Migrant Help was mostly unobtainable on the phone number provided in anything less than several hours. Service delivery was minimal in quantity and quality. The individuals on the other end of the line were well-meaning  but under-resourced and under-informed and probably horrendously overstretched.

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