300-room residence, sea views, great security… – Werkstatt der Kulturen, Berlin

20/07/2010

300-room residence, sea views, great security…

“Dover Immigration Removal Centre is run by HM Prison Service. It occupies a historical site on top of the cliffs with views across the docks.” (UK Border Agency website). Where is home when your family’s lives are threatened by their neighbours? “We give them a cup of tea when they arrive” (The Guardian, report on Campsfield House) Where is home when you are taken from your friends, relatives and job and thrown in a prison by the country you have lived in for years? “They are like ghosts, moved without warning or explanation across the country in the dead of night, transported in unmarked vans. A silent cargo.” (Herald Scotland, Life Inside Dungavel) Why is home geographically located? “Compounds are designed so detainees can look only inwards and up at the sky, not out to the horizon.” (Sydney Morning Herald on Baxter detention centre). What is a nation and why should home be defined by it? “Outside there is a courtyard with concrete walls and floor, a few plastic chairs. The guards oversee it all through glass doors and large observation windows.” (Life inside an Australian refugee detention centre, wsws.org) Who creates or denies home? “At night the guards come every half hour, flashing their torches into sleepers’ faces. By day there is nowhere to go and little to do. There is no air, no trees, no grass. No interpreters are allowed. In Port Hedland, there are coffin cells, which are tiny compartments without any window, where there is no difference between night and day.” (wsws.org). Who has the right to tell someone to ‘go home’?

300-room residence, sea views, great security… was performed by Caylin Rose Janet in collaboration with louie+jesse at Home Sweet Home International Video Art & Performance Festival, Werkstatt der Kulturen on the 9th July 2010.

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