Karishma Dharni

I Am An Immigrant

I am an Immigrant Poster Campaign
by MAX – Movement Against Xenophobia

Please be a part of this campaign – Pledge your support

What is the poster campaign?

Immigrants are part of the fabric of our society. It’s time to celebrate, not vilify them. The ‘I am an immigrant’ poster campaign is a response to the increased anti-immigration rhetoric occurring in politics and the need to shed positive light on immigrants and the social, economic and cultural prosperity they bring to the nation.

The poster campaign emerged out of the Movement Against Xenophobia (MAX) which aims to rid the dialogue on immigration policy of racism and discrimination.

What is the purpose of the poster campaign?

The Poster Campaign is an exciting and powerful way of showing that immigrants not only contribute but are part of the fabric of British society and a vital part of multi-cultural Britain.

The negative rhetoric against immigrants fuelled by populist media has meant the Government is countering this by passing legislation that is increasingly anti-immigrant. Most parties are guilty of scapegoating immigrants. This affects all of society including British citizens as the Family Migration rules demonstrate. The new rules make it very difficult for foreign spouses to join British partners resulting in separated families, heartache and children growing up without both parents. Elderly parents are almost completely prevented from joining their children at the time they need them the most.

The Immigration Act 2014 which is now in force has all but eliminated the rights of appeal for migrants and changes to the NHS are proposed. Lawful migrants who work and pay taxes in the UK will have to pay a further levy to use the NHS. International students are being particularly signaled out. In a pilot scheme in the West Midlands landlords are being forced to take on the role of border guards and conduct immigration status checks on all tenants or face a hefty fine. This is likely to result in racism and discrimination against those without papers or from a black or ethnic minority background.

We are concerned at the impact this has on social cohesion and the existence of a just, tolerant and fair nation. Through the poster campaign, we will be able to highlight the importance of immigrants in a way that captures their contributions to society as a whole, economically and culturally.

If all migrants stopped working our country would grind to a halt.
Our goal is to create a campaign that will negate the anti-immigrant climate currently developing, celebrate the vital contribution of immigrants and induce an open and inclusive conversation about immigration policy built on human rights and equality.

What will the process be?

We will begin by selecting only fifteen migrants, including a few celebrities, from different occupations and all walks of life, such as health service professionals, teachers, cleaners, tube/bus drivers, business entrepreneurs, journalists, lawyers, etc. to be photographed by Vogue photographer Philip Volkers.

The message will be simple and the poster will consist of a photo of the individual with name and occupation, it will be titled ‘I am an Immigrant’ and will have a simple line outlining their contribution to British society such as “I am a brain surgeon and I have saved 6,000 lives”. Research demonstrates that visual depiction is extremely powerful.

Posters will be rolled out nationally through tube and train stations and will be displayed for two/three weeks before the General Election. We will also launch them through social media and a dedicated website. The social media arm will be interactive with the ability for all migrants to send in their own photos and will last well beyond the elections.

This is an exciting and innovative campaign and we need your help to make it a reality. But we need to raise a lot of money fast – by the 24th of February 2015.

Please be a part of this campaign – Pledge your support

Follow Movement Against Xenophobia on Twitter and FaceBook

Image and text copyright: Movement Against Xenophobia (MAX)

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