The Home Office recently introduced new restrictions on international artists and academics visiting the UK for talks, temporary exhibitions, concerts or artists’ residencies. Visitors now have to submit to a series of arduous and expensive proceedures to get their visa, and then more bureaucratic controls when they are in the UK. Already a series of concerts and residencies have been cancelled.
The Manifesto Club is coordinating a campaign against these regulations. The campaign is led by Manick Govinda, artists’ adviser at Artsadmin, and has won support from artists, musicians, gallery directors, academics and students. Together we call for these parochial and suspicious regulations to be reconsidered, and affirm the vital contribution made by global artists and scholars to UK cultural and intellectual life.
The petition was launched with a letter in the Observer, signed by high-profile arts figures including artist Antony Gormley, Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery, and Nicholas Hytner, director of the Royal National Theatre. See the news story of the petition launch.
Read and sign the petition! Forward to your friends and colleagues.
Help build support for the petition on Facebook.
CABARET WITHOUT BORDERS, 20 MAY – talks and performances against Visa controls
This will be an evening of talks, performances, music and dance, at the East London gallery, Roshelle School, in celebration of free movement – and in opposition to the Home Office’s new Visa controls for visiting artists and academics. For full details, and to buy tickets, see here.
1. Help us reach 10,000
The petition is growing fast. Our aim is to reach 10,000 signatories to force politicians to take notice. So please get the petition out everywhere you can. Send it around friends and colleagues; get it on mailing lists; post on websites and facebook groups; get it discussed in organisations.
2. Write to your MP
MPs do pay attention to constituents’ mail, so writing a letter is a good way to raise our issue’s political profile. You can easily write to your MP using the message service, Write to them. Your message will be faxed or emailed directly to your local MP.
- Key points to mention:
– Say that you are objecting to the new Points-Based System for visiting artists and academics
– Mention any negative effects that these regulations have had (or will have) on your work
– Demand they ask a question about the issue in parliament, raise it with home secretary Jacqui Smith and Home Office ministers
– Say why you are passionately opposed to these regulations
If you have been (or will be) affected by these regulations, please do complete our campaign’s online survey. This will provide a rich source of material for us to better argue the case and gain more publicity for our campaign.
Accounts of cancelled concerts and exhibitions, and other problems that these regulations are causing for organisations who work with international artists and academics. To post a comment, email: email@example.com
- Briefing documents: NCA’s Fact-Sheet on the new regulations; UCU guide on point-scoring
- Articles:Manick Govinda in the Feburary issue of Blueprint, and a-n magazine; ‘Russian pianist’s concert cancelled due to visa rules’, in the Independent; ‘Something to Declare’, in the Independent; Fight for Your One-Worlder Party, National Arts Journalism programme blog. Immigration system takes toll on arts, Guardian. The Home Office boasts about deporting a Turkish magician.
- Essays:Christian Michel’s Manifesto Club Thinkpiece, A People’s Immigration Policy