The Home Office 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, in alliance with 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.
LATEST: This campaign won major concessions and a change in UK visa rules. See our briefing on the changes.
There will be a Campaign Celebration event on 13 June, to mark the gains and discuss next steps.
- Sign the petition! We are now over 10,000 signatures, including Antony Gormley, Jeremy Deller, Anne Fine and Maureen Duffy. Add your support and forward to your friends and colleagues.
- Join the campaign Facebook group
- Send us testimonies: If you have been (or will be) affected by these regulations, please do complete our campaign’s online survey or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Email your MP: You can easily write to your MP, raising your concerns about the points-based visa system, using Write to them. Your message will be faxed or emailed directly to your local MP.
- Join the Campaign Coordinating Committee – if you would like to help promote and coordinate the campaign, we meet bimonthly in central London. Email us here.
- Pass a motion in your organisation: Propose a motion against the visa system, or write a letter to the head of your organisation. See the statements from EnglishUK, Universities UK, and Cambridge ESOL, Goldsmiths ‘Students not Suspects’.
- Donate to this campaign: Help us run this campaign by clicking on the donation button on the right. With a little more money, we could do a lot more!
The Manifesto Club has produced a series of reports showing the effects of these new visa rules:
- Cancelled, by Order of the UK Home Office, Manick Govinda and Josie Appleton (June 2009)
- Fortress Academy, Valerie Hartwich (February 2010)
- Deported: Artists and Academics Barred from the UK, Manick Govinda, Josie Appleton and Valerie Hartwich (March 2010)
- Students Under Watch, by Valerie Hartwich (September 2011)
See our artists and academics testimonies page
A selection of media coverage of the campaign:
Guardian (16 Mar)
Guardian (11 Feb)
For full coverage, see Media page
CAMPAIGN NETWORK AND RESOURCES
We campaign against these regulations in collaboration and solidarity with the following organisations and campaigns:
- English PEN
Goldsmith staff and students against the regulations
No Spying on Students
Universities without Borders
ACCESS DENIED: Petition Against EU VISA Discrimination of Musicians
Students not Suspects
For ongoing commentary on the UK visa system, see Valerie Hartwich’s blog.
- Saturday 16 October – Points-Based Immigration System in Context: Research + Campaign Strategies – University of London Union, 10am-6pm. For more details, see the Facebook page.
- 2 June – There will be a campaign coordinating meeting, at Goldsmiths, University of London, 5pm. If you are interested in attending, email Valerie Hartwich.
- 17 March 2010 – Fortress UK, London A discussion on the significance of these new rules – and what we can do about them. Speakers included Helena Kennedy QC (leading human rights barrister), Lord Clement Jones (Lib Dem spokesperson on Culture, Media and Sport), Lisa Appignanesi (English PEN), Manick Govinda
(Artsadmin and Manifesto Club), Josie Appleton (convenor, Manifesto Club), Des Freedman (secretary, Goldsmiths UCU). Listen to the recording of the evening’s discussion.
17 March 2010 – Delivery of Visiting Artists Petition to 10 Downing Street
3 June 2009 – Cabaret Without Borders, London – A convivial evening of satirical artistic interventions, passionate political rhetoric and personal testimonies at the East London gallery, Rochelle School, celebrating free movement for all and opposition to the Home Office’s new Visa controls for visiting artists and academics.
See the Video of the Cabaret Without Borders Event, on WorldBytes.