Yesterday I went to visit a friend in the Bristol Hospitality Network house and in excitedly explaining to his housemate about our ideas for the Bristol Refugee Hackday, he reminded me something we musn’t forget. Donation management tool and advice forms are all nice ideas, but they are a sticking plaster which ultimately doesn’t change his situation.
Waiting 10 years not being allowed to work with limited or no income destroys people, even if they eventually get status.
Many of the problems experienced by asylum seekers in the UK are a matter of policy. So awareness raising and activism about this situation needs to be integral to the hackday as well.
How can we do that?
Having spoken with Bristol City Council they have some open data available which might be useful for visualising the problems asylum seekers experience.
I also recently saw the VR solitary confinement app from The Guardian which is an interesting awareness raising app showing the experience of prisoners in solitary confinement. Whilst obviously much more than we can achieve in a day, it shows the way games and interactive experiences could work for awareness-raising.
We would love your thoughts and ideas!
IDEA: Text-based immigration signing simulator. Many asylum seekers in Bristol have to sign weekly or monthly in Patchway. We could make something to show the public how this works difficulties experienced, by messaging them each week similar to a choose your own adventure book.