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Join academic and researcher Hyab Yohannes on his quest for answers to urgent questions – how do we bear witness to the unbearable? How can we confront the open wounds left by border violence? And how can we heal and create new ways of being?

Hyab chooses to foreground his lived experience as a refugee in his academic work and research. He believes this approach can open up new dialogues in which we are honest about the realities of border violence which forces people to live “at the edge of life”, both indefinitely waiting and suffering.

By presenting these confronting truths, Hyab hopes to stir up debates and open up spaces that de-centre the colonial frameworks and systems that are at the root of this violence in order to see the world in a different way.

Immigration detention visitor and solidarity groups are witness to the violence that exists at UK borders and in places of detention. This conversation explores: what sustains these systems; in what ways might visitor and solidarity groups participate in sustaining them; and what it would mean to be part of a new vision that has human dignity at its heart.

About the speaker:

Hyab Yohannes holds a PhD in the 'Realities of Eritrean Refugees in a Carceral Age', and works as an academic coordinator for the Culture for Sustainable and Inclusive Peace (CUSP) Network Plus, where he conducts research and provides insights into theory and policy. He is co-editing a special issue on decolonising knowledge production for the Journal of Language and Intercultural Communication and a Handbook of Cultures of Sustainable Peace for Multilingual Matters. Additionally, he is working on his upcoming book titled 'The Coloniality of the Refugee'.

This talk was part of AVID Winter School in 2023/24 to explore key issues and challenges in acting in solidarity with those impacted by detention.

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