'Walking Borders: borders, risk and belonging' is funded by the Leverhulme Trust
The article published yesterday by Andrew Norfolk in the Times was supported (although not acknowledged in print due to space rightly given to the voices of the residents living behind the red doors) by research from the Race, Crime and Justice Regional Network (RRCJN) in the North East. A collaboration of academics and researchers from the regions Universities often working in participation and collaboration with local groups, communities and agencies – both statuory and voluntary.
I am really pleased with the outcome of Andrew Norfolk’s investigative journalism – that the red doors are finally being painted different colours, that there will be an enquiry into the housing of asylum seekers and those who have gained refugee status inTeesside and that the landlords [Jomast and G4S] are held to account.
In collaboration with film maker Janice Haaken, the Regional Refugee Forum and Purple Rose Stockton the RRCJN conducted research in 2012 using walking methods with women seeking asylum and refuge, some of whom were undocumented. We published and shared the research, film and photographic exhibition in 2012/13 at: Ustinov College, the Human Rights Centre at Durham University, the Law School at Newcastle University, the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action at Durham University, various community venues and conferences and on the web site at the School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University.
It seems appropriate to share the film again on the walking borders web-site: Searching for Asylum was created by Janice Haaken in consultation with the group utilising film from a flip camera, photographs by the women who participated taken along our collective walks through the city, sound recordings of our conversations along the walk & in the workshops and sound recordings of the poetry of one of the women. The experiences of borders and walking borders is writ large in the film, exhibition and report.