AVID Training
(You need to be a member and logged in to view this video)

In a new collaboration, AVID partnered with the University of Westminster as part of their internship programme for Social Science students. During the internship, students learnt about immigration detention and supported AVID to curate and host a Spring Showcase Exhibition on April 26th 2024 in Westminster University.

As guiding questions for the project, AVID asked the students to help us to answer - Where are we now? How did we get here? and Where are we going?

Under the guidance of their lecturers, Francesca and Jac, Project Co-ordinator, Lou, and Derek* and Flower*, from the Unchained Collective, the students began their research into the history of immigration detention. They pieced together key moments to build a comprehensive timeline spanning decades of immigration policy alongside AVID’s own impactful history. The timeline placed the evolution of detention practices in the context of the UK's colonial history; provided insights into how the use of detention (and removal of liberty) shifted from something used at a time of crisis in WW1 and WW2 to a practice formalised in legislation; and situated this in systemic racism which shaped the public and political imagination of who does and does not belong. Alongside the timeline of detention, the students highlights AVID’s own history alongside the wider movement committed to advocating for migrants’ rights.

Drawing from AVID’s extensive archive, the students also showcased the impact of our organisation through a collection of testimonies and achievements. By amplifying the voices of individuals who have experienced immigration detention firsthand and visitors, they shed light on the human side of this practice, with the hope of fostering empathy and understanding among people who visit the exhibition.

The students’ contributions did not stop there. Collaborating closely with individuals who have lived through the realities of immigration detention, they developed a toolkit designed to educate and empower others. This toolkit will serve as an invaluable resources for schools, communities, and advocacy groups alike. Whether complemented by animation or podcasts co-created by AVID and other organisations, it offers a multifaceted approach to dismantling misconceptions and encouraging informed dialogue.

The Spring Showcase Exhibition provided a platform for these collective efforts to shine. Attendees had the opportunity to interact with objects in the exhibition throughout the week, immersing themselves in the stories, insights, and educational materials on display. AVID's Co-Director, Miranda, spoke about AVID's mission, the significance of the exhibition, and our vision for a future without immigration detention. Miranda’s speech was complemented by the heartfelt testimonies of both students and individuals with lived experiences. Many of the students expressed newfound awareness of immigration detention practices and empathy towards people who are effected. They also acknowledged the responsibility to advocate for change.

As the exhibition drew to a close on May 3rd, we are looking for partners to help us to continue to spread the word. If you have a space where you would like to feature the timeline of immigration detention or help us to develop it further please get in touch.

AVID remains steadfast in our commitment to challenge unjust detention practices and advocating for the rights and dignity of all individuals affected by immigration detention.


Watch: Hidden Stories