Alternative facts and immigration:


fake it until you make it?

Southwark Room, Tate Exchange, Tate Modern 5th Floor

Political propaganda is not new. With migration, it’s a world of shadowing boxing. ‘They’re coming to take your jobs’, ‘We can’t help them’, ‘Health tourists!’, ‘Let’s get tough’. Recently, government policy in the UK and elsewhere has been about shaping what people think about what is happening not shaping what actually happens. In the UK, the focus on being tough on immigration has smothered debate on whether immigration is good, bad or inevitable, or whether policies will make any difference at all to a world on the move. Media discussion of immigration has amplified problems and occasionally celebrated exceptional individuals, but how far does this reflect everyday realities?

In this workspace, academic researchers, artists and activists worked with audiences to shape the news headlines. We attempted to uncover ‘facts’ about immigration (based on research, not conversations half-overheard by a Trump adviser) and views rarely given space in the mainstream media. Together we aimed to develop a newspaper edition that engaged with seldom-heard realities of immigration and its control. People could come and learn more about immigration and the immigration control industry. Share their thoughts, hopes and dreams. Get creative in faking news that will make people look at the world in the new way.

There There is a 50% Romanian 50% Serbian performance company, founded in London by Dana Olărescu and Bojana Janković. Our work explores topics that emerge at the intersection of personal experiences and big-picture policy and politics, including immigration, immigrant and national identities. Our practice spans performances, installations, interventions, audience development and research.

Mapping Immigration Controversy is a collective of eight academic researchers based at 6 universities (Warwick (Hannah Jones), Goldsmiths (Yasmin Gunaratnam, Emma Jackson, William Davies), Bedfordshire (Sukhwant Dhaliwal), Birmingham City (Kirsten Forkert), East London (Gargi Bhattacharyya), and South Wales (Roiyah Saltus)). Following the Home Office ‘Go Home’ van campaign of 2013, we conducted research into the effects of government communications about immigration control on everyday lives in England, Scotland and Wales. Our book based on this research, Go Home? The politics of immigration control, will be published by Manchester University Press in April 2017.

Participation in this workspace is free and open to all, but due to limited space please reserve a place at and please let us know if you have any special access requirements at the time of booking.