‘Kept Hidden from the Public’: Indefinitely Detained in the UK

The Channel installation at the University of Portsmouth's Eldon Building. Courtesy of The Channel project.

This week, people in Portsmouth have been connecting with people who are indefinitely detained in UK immigration removal centres through a unique phonebox. On Saturday 26th October, you can join the artist and team behind the project in a showcase event in the Guildhall Square. Reporting from Paris Ali-Pilling, Esti Chivite and Sarah Cheverton.

The Channel is an installation that enables you to communicate across borders. This week, Portsmouth residents have been able to connect with people indefinitely detained in UK immigration removal centres via the sculpture, which resembles an old-fashioned phone box.

Paris Ali-Pilling and Esti Chivite interviewed Isobel Tarr, the artist behind The Channel.

‘I made this work with people in detention because they are kept hidden from the public,’ said Isobel. You can see the full interview below.

Audiences were invited to listen to messages sent by real people in detention centres throughout the week and to respond to the individuals with their questions and thoughts. These messages will later form a sound artwork.

Isobel and The Channel team shared one of the many messages featured in the installation, a message from a man called Hamza who is detention.You can listen below:

If you’ve missed the project so far but would still like to be involved, head down to the Guildhall Square on Saturday 26th October to listen to the message exchange, leave a message of your own, and celebrate the desire to connect across borders.


CLOSING CELEBRATION: Saturday 26 October, 12.00pm – 5.00pm, Guildhall Square.

For more information on the Journeys Festival, which runs until 27th October, visit the website.