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Immigration Detention - The Hidden Costs

Series Introduction

Season 1, Ep. 0

An introduction to this podcast series, "Immigration Detention, The Hidden Costs", featuring a tapestry of voices captured from across the 8 episodes, highlighting the breadth of issues covered in this powerful series.

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  • 1. Locked up for a piece of paper

    In this episode Aminata shares the anger she feels at the injustice of being locked up just for the sake of a piece of paper and the hypocrisy of a country that denounces human rights abuses in other countries, whilst perpetrating similar acts of oppression itself. While she connects the UK’s current immigration detention system to its history of colonialism and the desire to silence a particular group of people, she refuses to be broken by the system and shares powerful ideas for alternative approaches.  
  • 3. Reduced to just a number

    In this episode Derek talks with Wale about the impact of detention on his life, wearing a tag and being labelled a criminal. He feels rejected by the government and society, but despite the uncertainty he faces for his own future, he encourages those going through similar experiences not to lose hope. He dreams of a world without borders and colonial divisions, and hopes for an end to hostility towards migrants.
  • 4. Labelled as a criminal

    In this episode Blessing shares her journey from the horrors that forced her to leave her home, to visa complications and once again loosing her freedom, multiple times in detention. She powerfully expresses the continuum of violence and long-term dehumanising impacts of immigration detention. 
  • 5. Being a voice for the voiceless

    In this episode Faith, talks about the profound impact of detention on her mental health. She calls for radical changes to the system, from proper risk assessments prior to detaining people, to community-based alternatives to detention. However, whilst detention continues, she calls for support for people once they are released and speaks powerfully about the importance of raising awareness of the realities of detention. Knowledge, she says, is power and ‘ignorance a very big disease’, with awareness she concludes, tomorrow will be a better day.
  • 6. Refusing to be Silenced

    In this episode Mariam talks with Aminata about the challenges of reintegrating into her community post detention and the difficulties of being heard, of having a voice. Mariam reveals her resilient spirit as she shares how she remained mentally and physically active amidst the challenges of detention; and appeals for greater understanding on what it means to be a refugee, to build a better world and end the unnecessary division within our society.
  • 7. A Futile System

    In this episode Wale talks with Derek about the importance of community, family, and friends in recovering from the trauma and isolation of immigration detention. He also shares his thoughts on how ineffective & costly immigration detention is as a system and the importance of fighting for an effective, humane community-based alternative. 
  • 8. Brain freeze, the impact of trauma on telling our stories

    In this episode Flower and Derek reflect on the experience of making these podcasts.  We hear how the process of claiming asylum and Home Office interviews re-traumatise already traumatised people, how difficult it is to get mental health support when you fear it could lead to having your child taken away, and just how much courage it takes to speak out.  Their final appeal is for unity and the putting aside of colours and borders.
  • 2. Living in Fear

    In this episode Flower shares her experience of confusion and trauma whilst navigating the process of claiming asylum, prison and the immigration system. She speaks of the loss of trust in family and friends and rejection from the community, alongside the ongoing impact of trauma. The lack of clear pathways of support for those who have been through detention, highlights the need for long term mental health support regardless of citizenship status.