Episode #16: Windrush, Citizenship, Empire and Migration

 Image credits: Unknown //   Evening Standard ’s front page 21 June 1948 (British Library)  //  Empire Windrush mural in Bristol  // Men on the Windrush //  Logo by @3Dperson  // Protest against the Home Office, 5 May 2018

Image credits: Unknown // Evening Standard’s front page 21 June 1948 (British Library) // Empire Windrush mural in Bristol // Men on the Windrush // Logo by @3Dperson // Protest against the Home Office, 5 May 2018

Charlotte and Emma discuss national identity, belonging and how the inhumane ‘hostile environment’ created by the British Home Office over the past decade fits into a much longer history of British immigration policy. Plus: British aspirations versus historical realities, and how to lose people on purpose.

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FOOTNOTES

  • Amelia Gentleman’s articles on the Windrush scandal in The Guardian can be found here. She has also written about her investigation here. Follow Amelia on Twitter @ameliagentleman;
  • Here is a BBC video outlining the origins and cost of the ‘hostile environment:

“I stand for a Britain where everyone should rise as far as their talents can take them and then the talents of each of us should contribute to the well being of all.

I stand for a Britain where all families who work hard can build a better life for themselves and their children.

I stand for a Britain where every young person who has it in them to study at college or university should not be prevented by money from doing so.

I stand for a Britain where public services exist for the patient, the pupil, the people who are to be served.

I stand for a Britain where it is a mark of citizenship that you should learn our language and traditions.

I stand for a Britain where we expect responsibility at every level of society.

I stand for a Britain that defends its citizens and both punishes crime and prevents it by dealing with the root causes.

I stand for a Britain where because this earth is on loan to us from future generations, we must all be stewards of the environment.

So I stand for a Britain where we all have obligations to each other and by fulfilling them, everyone has the chance to make the most of themselves.”

  • People who have lived in Sweden for five years can apply for citizenship; if you’re a refugee or stateless, you can apply after four; if you’re married to a Swedish citizen, you can apply after three. The fee is 1,500 SEK, or £130. Citizens of other Nordic nations can register as Swedish citizens (i.e. without applying) after five years or apply for citizenship after two years. Here’s all the info from the Swedish Migration Agency;
  • Charlotte is reading lines from Imtiaz Dharker’s ‘Minority’ from 1997:
I was born a foreigner.
I carried on from there
to become a foreigner everywhere
I went, even in the place
planted with my relatives,
six-foot tubers sprouting roots,
their fingers and faces pushing up
new shoots of maize and sugar cane.

All kinds of places and groups
of people who have an admirable
history would, almost certainly,
distance themselves from me.

I don’t fit,
like a clumsily translated poem;

like food cooked in milk of coconut
where you expected ghee or cream,
the unexpected aftertaste
of cardamom or neem.

Read the whole poem here.

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Charlotte recommends Slow Burn, a Slate podcast about Watergate. Listen to that here;
  • Emma recommends Creating Your Own Path, in which Jennifer E. Newman interviews artists, designers and other creators about the work. There are three episodes with Anne Ditmeyer – you'll find the first one here.

THE NEXT EPISODES

  • TNK017 is our Men's World Cup special - Charlotte will make use of her German heritage to gloat about the 2014 tournament; Emma will reveal what it was really like to go to school with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and why the summer of 1994 can never be bettered. Plus: we set our sights on the 2019 Women's World Cup.

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Emma Lundin