Leah Cowan, Julián Fuks & Abbas Nazari: Surviving Hostile Environments

Detained, fingerprinted, treated with hostility. These are some of the words used recently by EU citizens seeking entry into the UK. How do Britain’s borders reflect the government’s Hostile Environment policy, and how does its border regime link with Britain’s colonial history? Journalist Leah Cowan seeks answers in Border Nation, which seeks to debunk myths around migration. Also asking searching questions about migration is Julián Fuks, one of Brazil’s outstanding writers. Translated into English by Daniel Hahn, Occupation centres on refugees occupying a derelict building in downtown Sao Paulo – a group whose stories shed light on the circumstances that can trigger the migrant journey. As a child, Abbas Nazari fled with his parents in 2001 from Taliban persecution in Afghanistan, eventually ending up on a small fishing boat in the Indian Ocean with 426 others. Rescued by a Norwegian cargo boat, The Tampa, they found that no country was willing to offer them asylum. Now he has written an account of his shocking story. Each writer offers different perspectives on the brutal human dynamics of expulsion and repulsion, and they discuss these with writer and campaigner Caitlin May McNamara at the 2021 Edinburgh International Book Festival.

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