A Sense of Proportion

Petition against the Home Office’s restrictions on invited non-EU artists and academics

Dear petition signatory,

The petition against the Home Office’s ludicrous restrictions preventing non-EU artists and academics from participating the UKs cultural life is getting closer to our target of 10,000 signatories. When we reach our target we will send a delegation to 10 Downing Street with the petition. We’re nearly there, but I’m writing to you for your help.

The points based system which replaced the far more flexible work permits will be a year old on 27 November. We want to hand the petition in by that date to mark that moment when our freedom to invite artists, writers, poets, dancers, musicians, academics and intellectuals – professionals and amateurs – were taken away from us.

Very recent examples of barred entry included:

  • US artist Cristina Winsor detained and deported for allegedly intending to sell 2 small paintings at a local arts event in east London.
  • US artist MP Landis, his wife and 4 month baby detained and deported for not having the correct paperwork; Glenfiddich Distilleries invited him for a summer residency.
  • Indian artist Anirban Mitra refused a visa for the same residency opportunity after waiting for 4 months for a decision at great expense.
  • Russian author Sergei Mironenko of Memorial and Evgeni Tsymbal, Russian film director, were were refused visas despite being invited by reputable organizations (the London Book Fair and Queen Mary University of London respectively).
  • The Lahore Pipe Band from Pakistan were refused visas to participate in Scotland’s World Pipe Band Championships.

The Home Office and the UKBA needs to get a sense of proportion. Hundreds of community, amateur and cultural groups are being affected as well as big national arts institutions.

We need to send a loud message to the Home Office that these ludicrous regulations need to be seriously reviewed and reconsidered. This petition has collected a huge breadth of voices from all walks of life, nationalities, political and religious persuasions.

If you haven’t signed it, please do so. If each of you can persuade a friend, colleague or family member to sign the petition then we’ve more than reached our target.

The petition is accessible here.

More information about the visiting artists campaign is available at manifestoclub.com.

Thank you.

Manick Govinda
Visiting Artists Campaign Co-ordinator

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