UK (University of Kent) Refugee Tales

Refugee Tales – The Walk 2023

Katherine Moss

22 June 2023

The 2023 Refugee Tales Walk will take place from 8 to 12 July. This year’s route will start in Three Bridges near Crawley, and end at Worthing, West Sussex.

The Refugee Tales project, which began in 2015, centres on an annual walk designed to raise awareness of the situation of those held in indefinite detention in the UK. It also calls for an immediate end to this system.

The project was initiated by Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group (GDWG) in collaboration with refugees and people who have experienced detention, alongside writers, poets, actors, musicians, filmmakers and other creative practitioners.

It is co-organised by David Herd, Professor of Modern Literature at the University’s School of English, and Anna Pincus from the GDWG. Its supporters include Jeremy Irons, Billy Bragg, Kamila Shamsie, Shami Chakrabarti and Christy Lefteri. Its patrons are Ali Smith and the 2021 Nobel Laureate for Literature, Abdulrazak Gurnah.

The Walk 2023 will include Refugee Tales readings from people with lived experience of immigration detention and authors such as Natasha Brown (Assembly) and Guy Gunaratne (In Our Mad and Furious City, Mister and Mister). There will also be live music performances, including beatbox, Greek and Turkish folk, a saxophone quartet, a soukous band, a kora player, and more.

To date, the project has published four volumes of tales of lived experiences of detention via Comma Press, with Professor Herd’s most recent poetry collection (Walk Song; Shearsman Books) weaving in and out of the project. To book your place at the evening events on this year’s route (tickets free or by donation), please visit the links below:

Haywards Heath – Saturday 8th July

Burgess Hill – Sunday 9th July

Brighton – Monday 10th July

Portslade – Tuesday 11th July

All walk tickets have sold out but please check the Walk of 2023 page for updates on availability.