Short 15–20 minute poetry readings by people with lived refugee and sanctuary seeker experience, followed by a 30-minute panel discussion with performers and researchers and a Q&A discussion session involving the audience. The event will highlight repercussions of 'hostile environment' policy for people who seek sanctuary in the UK and its influence on mental health and wellbeing, sense of identity, and belonging.
The event will explore intersections between public representation, experience-based knowledge and participatory research. Harnessing the power of poetic expression, poets with refugee background will make explicit the harsh realities of migrant detention centres, exhausting asylum processes, existential suffering on the verge of life, and the power of inner resilience and support networks to shift direction of post-migration trajectories. The poems are part of a poetry anthology and have also been used in secondary schools to talk about refugees and mental health.
The Refugee Mental Health and Place network with panellists Ravi from Payanam, Habib, Maral Normand, and Habib
The event will be of interest to people who are concerned with issues affecting refugees and sanctuary seekers, mental health effects of the UK asylum system, and questions of belonging in the context of forced displacement. The event will foreground lived experience and combine forms of poetic expression and personal reflection focused on issues connecting personal and sociopolitical realities, and mental health. We welcome a broad audience, both academic and non-academic.