Migrants and Solidarities online gallery

Migrants and Solidarities online gallery

In the UK, people seeking asylum are generally not allowed to work and are excluded from the mainstream welfare system. Rendered ‘undeserving’ of such support, they can only access minimal financial assistance – which is set significantly lower than benefit rates – and accommodation on a ‘no-choice’ basis, often in areas of cheap housing, under a separate privatised system managed by the Home Office. There are longstanding issues with asylum housing, including severe disrepair, lack of access to WiFi and, more recently, long-term use of particularly precarious forms of accommodation, such as hotels. People in asylum accommodation are often not even allowed basic items such as a vacuum cleaner or a TV.

In our research for the UK case-study, ‘Dispersal and deservingness in Northern England’, we have focused on asylum accommodation in two dispersal areas in Yorkshire. Using an ethnographic co-research process, project members Mette Louise Berg and Eve Dickson have worked collaboratively with a team of co-researchers with lived experience of the asylum system – Abby, Faith, Gleam, Hedi, Nel, and Sanaa El-Khatib. The co-research team also received training in photography and visual methods from Simon Rowe. This online gallery has been generated collectively by the co-research process. Through the images below, we offer glimpses into the experience of living in asylum accommodation in Yorkshire, where notions of deservingness are negotiated and navigated and solidarities are forged and contested.

Collection

Photograph and text: Faith

As an asylum seeker is transported to a new home, their whole life and everything they will need to begin their journey is packed in one box. In the box is one quilt, two bed covers, one pillow, two pillowcases, two sets of fitted sheets, one spoon, a fork, one cup, one glass, one plate, a bowl, a knife and a tin can opener.

Photograph and text: Nel

The mailbox is very symbolic for all of us asylum seekers. I’m almost certain that all of us get nervous when we check it. We are waiting for important letters from the Home Office.

Photograph and text: Nel

The mailbox is very symbolic for all of us asylum seekers. I’m almost certain that all of us get nervous when we check it. We are waiting for important letters from the Home Office.

Photograph: Sanaa El-Khatib

A hole in a kitchen floor in an asylum property, left unrepaired for many months.

Photograph: Gleam

A dilapidated wall in an asylum property.

Photograph: Gleam

A dilapidated wall in an asylum property.

Video: Gleam

People in asylum support receive just £39.63 (€46.88) a week, with which they need to cover all non-accommodation costs, such as food, clothing, toiletries and mobile phone credit.

Photograph and text: Abby

The Outback Community Kitchen and Garden

‘The community garden serves free meals once a week; there’s usually a long queue of people. We sometimes help out in the community garden.’

Photograph and text: Abby

The Outback Community Kitchen and Garden

‘The community garden serves free meals once a week; there’s usually a long queue of people. We sometimes help out in the community garden.’

Photograph and text: Nel

© 2021 Google

A place where I feel uncomfortable: the Home Office. It is a very stressful feeling before and after you go there, entering and leaving.

Photograph and text: Sanaa El-Khatib

Ogden Water in Halifax is where I can be free. It gives me hope, a sense to never give up.

Photograph and text: Sanaa El-Khatib

Ogden Water in Halifax is where I can be free. It gives me hope, a sense to never give up.

Photograph and text: Hedi

My neighbour was an old man and suddenly, according to the tradition of our country, I put my hand up and waved and said hi. Straight away he responded to my greeting, and we smiled at each other.

Photograph and text: Faith

Ubuntu: I am because you are.

Photograph and text: Faith

Ubuntu: I am because you are.

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