Thousand 4 £1000 warmly invites you to participate in Citizens of the World in Conversation – a series of online discussion events exploring stories of migration, culture, creativity and connection from around the globe.
Our next event
Sam Berkson in conversation with Mohamedsalem Wared:
Poetry, exile and resistance in Western Sahara
Wednesday 27th January, 7pm, online Zoom event
For the third event in our Citizens of the World in Conversation series we are proud to present a conversation between Sam Berkson and Mohamedsalem Wared. Book your free ticket here.
Sam Berkson is a poet from London. He has been performing poetry for many years as ‘Angry Sam’. He is part of the Hammer & Tongue collective. After visiting refugees from Western Sahara in 2013 as a poet in residence, Sam co-authored (with Mohamed Labat Sulaiman) Settled Wanderers, a collection of poetry and essays, featuring poems from the greatest living poets of the Western Sahara, such as Badi, Beyibouh and Al Khadra, as well as Sam’s own poetry written in the refugee camps.
Sam will be in conversation with Mohamedsalem Wared, an activist with Saharawi Voice, who lives in Smara refugee camp in Algeria. Around half of the former nomadic people of Western Sahara (the Saharawi) live in refugee camps around the isolated desert town of Tindouf over the border in Algeria.
Sam and Mohamedsalem will discuss the Saharawi people’s resistance to a decades-long occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco, life in the refugee camps and the importance of poetry in Saharawi culture.
In the summer of 1987, a group of 60 Tamil refugees was detained on a ferry, used by the British government as a floating detention centre. Their determined resistance, including a hunger strike, forced the issue of immigration detention into the headlines.
At a time when the government is reported to be seriously considering reviving the use of ferries to detain people seeking asylum, we were delighted to be hosting a conversation with Mr. Jana, to reflect on his work at the front line of resistance to the UK’s racist immigration regime for over 3 decades.
Mr Jana is the Executive Director of TWAN, the Tamil Welfare Association (Newham), a pioneering grassroots organisation providing free legal advice and practical support to the Tamil community in London since 1986.
Mr. Jana was in conversation with Frances Webber, Vice-Chair of the Institute of Race Relations. Frances is a former barrister who specialised in immigration, refugee and human rights law until her retirement in 2008. The Institute of Race Relations is at the cutting edge of the research and analysis that informs the struggle for racial justice in Britain, Europe and internationally. It seeks to reflect the experiences of those who suffer racial oppression and draws its perspectives from the most vulnerable in society.