These ten videos tell the story of the asylum and refugee process in the UK, through West End Refugee Service clients Masamba Dadou Mayele, Evelyne Mbatkop Nana and Musa Hassan Ali, with Janet and Khirad explaining how the “befriender” scheme works. Click on the ‘i’ in the top right of each video for more background.

I shot and produced nine of these ten videos, which were commissioned by the Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal at Newcastle University as part of the ‘Home’ engagement programme. The Institute connects Newcastle University’s research to the Newcastle community and beyond. The project was a collaboration between Simon Philpott, Senior Lecturer in International Politics at Newcastle University, Lindsay Cross, Project Director at the West End Refugee Service, and myself.

In the first video, we explain why people have to flee their homes and seek asylum as refugees in other countries. It provides statistics on the global context, details the asylum process in the United Kingdom, and provides the story of Ayesha and her experience seeking sanctuary in Newcastle with the assistance of the West End Refugee Service. It was animated and produced by Mike Tyler of Burning Reel Productions, London. I wrote and recorded the script, based on research by Petra Beer, with narration by Gugelihle Dube and myself.

 

Masamba Dadou Mayele had to seek asylum in the UK and has been granted refugee status. Masamba is the lead singer in “Kilimanjaro.” In this film he discusses some of his background, what it was like being sent to Newcastle, his experience settling in the city, and how he thinks of home.

 

Evelyne Mbatkop Nana had to seek asylum in the UK and has been granted refugee status. Evelyne works at the West End Refugee Service in Newcastle. In this film she discusses some of her background, what it was like being sent to Newcastle, her experience settling in the city, and how she thinks of home.

 

Janet volunteers for the West End Refugee service as a “befriender,” offering assistance and support to people fleeing persecution and seeking asylum in Newcastle. In this film Janet discusses her role, and we meet her current friend, Khirad, who talks about her experiences with Janet and in Newcastle.

 

Musa Hassan Ali had to seek asylum in the UK and has been granted refugee status. Musa now works for the West End Refugee Service. In this film interview – in 6 parts here – he discusses some of his background, what it was like being sent to Newcastle, his experience settling in the city, and how he thinks of home.

In part 1, he introduces himself.

 

In part 2, he discusses why he had to flee Rwanda.

 

In part 3, he tells us how he fled to Europe.

 

In part 4, he tells us how he ended up in Newcastle.

 

In part 5, he tells us what it is like to live in Newcastle now.

 

In part 6, he answers the question ‘where is home for you?’