#20 Migrants Make Culture

Together Against the Hostile Environment

We’ve teamed up with Migrants in Culture to organise the 4th Annual Activation Day.

When: Saturday 18th January
Where: Raven Row, 56 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LS
Time: 9.30am-6pm

This is an Activation Day for migrants, people of colour and allies working in the cultural sector. We want to connect and build a movement able to resist the government’s Hostile Environment Policy, and to work towards a cultural sector for us all to thrive.

We will share migrant-led strategies in the company of United Voices of the WorldMigrants OrganiseUnis Resist Border ControlsAsia-Art-ActivismCounterpoints ArtsperformingbordersForeign Actions ProductionShubbak FestivalLIFT Festival and Season Butler.

Film produced and edited by Jos Bitelli and Umama Hamido at East London Cable, with sound by Joe Namy.



In Autumn 2019, Migrants in Culture released a report surveying the impact of the Hostile Environment on the cultural sector. Over 600 cultural workers told us that they are fearful and angry about the Hostile Environment, that there is no structural support for migrants in their places of work or study, and that few in positions of senior governance or management have an understanding of what the policy is, and its impact.

This Activation Day is a response to these 600 voices. We want to start 2020 together, and focus our collective imagination, intelligence and energies on building a cultural sector that is open and accountable to migrants, people of colour and others impacted by unjust immigration policies.

Together, we will meet, eat, laugh, learn, strategise and organise together.

We will exercise our imaginations with fiction writer Season Butler.

We will create collective demands with NEON movement builders.

We will plot out our next steps, stronger together.

We want to connect and build a movement able to resist the government’s Hostile Environment Policy, and to work towards a cultural sector for us all to thrive.


– Migrants and people of colour experiencing increasing hostility in the cultural sector
– Allies
– individuals, organisations and networks
– who are working to support migrant rights  in the cultural sector and want to do more

– Get energised
– Get connected
– Get organising


This is a sober event.

There will be transcription provided for the duration of the day. Our main event space at Raven Row is wheelchair friendly and has an accessible toilet. Childcare for children 1+ can be provided on the day. There will be a quiet space available. Your animal friends are welcome.

If you have any further access requirements, please do contact us so we can best support you on the day.

Unlimited is supporting three disabled migrants ticket. Get in touch with migrantsinculture@gmail.com to find out more.

Please also email us by 7 January if you require childcare, and the age of the children: Migrantsinculture@gmail.com

If you can, bring a cup, plate and cutlery so we can cut down on waste.
Were providing coffee, tea, biscuits and a vegetarian lunch. If you have allergies we strongly advise to bring your own lunch with you.


General Tickets: Please select the ticket option that reflects your capacity to pay. We trust you and no questions will be asked on the day.

Supporter tickets: reserved for those who cannot attend but would like to contribute/support the event. All funds will be allocated to Migrants in Culture and Keep It Complex.


9.30- 10am: Getting settled & coffee
10- 11am: Welcome & getting to know who is in the room.
11- 1pm: Setting the context: Impact of the Hostile Environment on the cultural sector Survey & break out workshops.

– Tackling workplace discrimination: using employment law to resist the Hostile Environment with United Voices of the World.
– Connecting our struggles. A Fair Immigration Reform Charter with Migrants Organise.
– Bridging the gap between academia and activism. Resisting border controls in Higher Education with Unis Resist Border Controls.
– Creating conditions for migrant artists to thrive. Case studies from the cultural sector with Asia-Art-Activism, Counterpoints Arts, performingborders, Foreign Actions Production, and Shubbak Roundtable

1- 2pm: Lunch
2- 3.30pm: Fiction writing as an activist tool. Reworlding the cultural sector with Season Butler
3.30- 4pm: Tea & Coffee break
4pm- 5.30pm: Building our collective demands with NEON movement builders
5.30- 6pm: Next steps, future organising


Migrants in Culture Research Report
Liberty’s Guide to the Hostile Environment

Migrants in Culture & Keep it Complex are voluntarily run networks without regular funding. You can give us a hand by paying more for your ticket, buying merch on the day and sharing the word about this event.


E-mail Migrantsinculture@gmail.com or Keepitcomplex2016@gmail.com with your skills and availability.

Support our work by providing meeting space, commissioning our workshops, and partnering with us on long-term research and sector change action.

Migrants Make Culture follows on from 3 past activation days organised by Keep it Complex including Unite Against Dividers (2017), Organise with Others (2018), and Make it Work (2019).


Migrants Make Culture is supported by the European Cultural Foundation, Unlimited and hosted by Raven Row.


Fotos: Alicja Ragolska