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Life In a Refugee Camp
March 10, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
We discuss the past, present and future of refugee camps. With an unprecedented refugee crisis in Europe, and the continued displacement of peoples on other continents, there has hardly been a more important time to reflect on the status of these precarious communities.
– Ben Rawlence, author of Radio 4 Book of the Week City of Thorns
– Olumide Popoola, co-author of Breach
– Annie Holmes, co-author of Breach
– Christina Lamb, foreign correspondent at The Sunday Times
– Photography by Sarah Hickson in association with the Calais Sessions (www.thecalaissessions.co.uk)
10% of all profits donated to CalAid, which is an organisation providing support and donations to refugees stranded in Calais. Find out more about their work at www.calaid.co.uk. There will be a further collection on the night of the event.
BEN RAWLENCE is a traveller and writer. For four years Ben lived in Dadaab – the world’s biggest refugee camp, located in Northern Kenya.To the charity workers, Dadaab is a humanitarian crisis; to the Kenyan government, it is a ‘nursery for terrorists’; to the western media, it is a dangerous no-go area; but to its half a million residents, it is their last resort. In his time there Ben grew to know many of those who call it home. In City of Thorns, he interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp, and to sketch the wider political forces that keep refugees trapped there.
OLUMIDE POPOOLA is a writer, lecturer, poet and performer. Her work includes a novella – This Is Not About Sadness – and a play – Also By Mail. In the last year Olumide has made a number of visits to the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais. Unlike Dadaab, which is administered by the UN, the Jungle is a settlement established by the people who live there, most of whom are trying to reach the UK. Olumide’s experiences will be recorded in a new book published by Peirene Press later this year. Breach will tell the story of the crisis through the voices of refugees stuck in Calais. It documents an illusion disrupted: ‘that of a neatly ordered world, with those deserving safety and comfort separated from those who need to be kept out’.
ANNIE HOLMES is the co-writer of Breach. Originally from Zimbabwe, she is a distinguished filmmaker, writer and lecturer. She has worked extensively on tackling the structural causes of HIV at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
CHRISTINA LAMB is an extremely distinguished writer and journalist. She is currently foreign correspondent at The Sunday Times, but has published a number of books, the most recent of which was the acclaimed Farewell Kabul. She will chair the event.
SARAH HICKSON is a travel photographer. She will present her photographs from the Jungle camp in Calais, where she was involved in the Calais Sessions – a project to support and record musicians stranded in Calais. You can see more of her work at www.sarahhickson.com and you can find out about the Calais Sessions at www.thecalaissessions.com