UK: Public letter calls for a new visa system for leading performers



United Kingdom:
Public letter calls for a new visa system for leading performers

A campaign to remove short-term visiting artists from unnecessary visa bureaucracy nears a policy breakthrough, according to its campaigners – Manifesto Club, English PEN and the Earl of Clancarty.

The proposal was outlined in a letter which was published in the Daily Telegraph, signed by 120 artists, novelists and musicians, including Salman Rushdie, Philip Pullman, and the heads of major museums and galleries. The letter was also reported in a Telegraph news article, and in a Guardian comment piece by Kamila Shamsie, as well as the Sunday Express and Independent.

“This policy change would not solve all the problems with the points-based visa system – but it would remove a large portion of informal artistic exchange from the intrusive eye of the UK Border Agency,” writes Manifesto Club.

For regular campaign updates, see Valerie Hartwich’s blog or support the Visiting Artists Campaign appeal which over two years has received nearly 11,000 signatures.

‘Visas / the discordant note’

The white paper ‘Visas / the discordant note’ which was published at WOMEX 2008 by Freemuse in collaboration with ELMF and ECA is still used as a reference document. The white paper is available from here:

A large number of other organisations, groups and networks are involved in lobbying for improved visa handling, reporting violations and publishing practical tools, such as: Zone Franche, Irma, Serious, Alba Kultur, Pearl, Practics, Visa Hotline Project, ELMF, ECA, Artsrightsjustice, Tamizdat – just to mention a few.

Click to read more about the white paper 'Visas / The Discordant Note'
White paper

Manifesto Club – 2010-2011:

‘Visiting artists and Academics Campaign’

The Telegraph – 27 June 2011:

‘Points-based visa system places unnecessary burden on artists making short visits to Britain’

The Telegraph – 27 June 2011:

‘World-class artists ‘put off coming to Britain by intrusive’ points-based immigration system’

The Guardian – 27 June 2011:

‘How Britain persecutes visiting artists’

Freemuse – 21 January 2009:

Visa issues: Transparency and correct information is the key

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