In response to the hostility directed towards those who are considered as “less desirable”, Brighton Migrant Solidarity, Animal House and The Rose Hill pub, are organising a night of music and political speeches aimed to dignify all migrants.
The increased globalisation we are experiencing has allowed people to constantly move from one place to another whether to work, study or find safety.
However, not every migrant is regarded as the same, some receive more privileges than others.
This trend has led to the creation of a dangerous dichotomy, which is also reflected in the hierarchy of movement experienced by many people, as moving can be very easy for few and very hard for the majority. The most evident symbols of this reality are borders, security controls, passports and visas.
This is how the binary of being a “worthy” or “unworthy” immigrant is created. A more popular way to distinguish between these two categories is to refer to immigrants either as “expats” or as “immigrants”.
While the former refers to an educated and wealthy professional working abroad, the latter points at people with less skills, who decided to migrate in search of a better future.
The differentiation is very important as this language can be used as a political tool or to dehumanise migrants.
Nevertheless, it is important to reaffirm that no immigrant is less desirable. This is why the Brighton Migrant Solidarity group, together with The Rose Hill pub and Animal House are organising “Life of an ‘unworthy’ immigrant: the gig”.
According to the organisers, the event “wants to underscore and smash the dangerous nuance in the narration and explanation of why the Windrush scandal happened”.
Indeed, with the Hostile Environment the divide between “worthy” and “unworthy” has become even stronger. This April, during an event in solidarity with the Windrush Generation, the British journalist and writer Gary Younge said, “I have a concern that the Windrush Generation is the new national treasure and that we will be separated as the ‘worthy’ immigrants. That suggests there are ‘unworthy’ immigrants for whom this hostility is okay”.
However, no one deserves to experience either racism or discrimination. The context generated by May’s Hostile Environment policy has exposed both migrants and refugees to life in limbo.
This situation of precarity makes them experience a “psychological and emotional rollercoaster reality” which is often underestimated and underreported.
“Life of an ‘unworthy’ immigrant: the gig” will take place on Friday, 2 of November, from 7 pm. to 11 pm. at The Rose Hill pub, 70-71 Rosehill Terrace, Brighton, BN1 4JL. During the event there will be live music, an Arabian/Mediterranean dinner and political speeches. The artists performing include Kell Chambers, the Syrian Oud player and singer Alaa and Animal House. The speakers will be Jacob Berkson, Bert William a migrant from the Windrush Generation and Antonia Brighton from the Movement for Justice. For further information, please visit Facebook event.