Asylum claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity have been recognised in the UK since 1999. However, having the right to seek refugee status, and actually gaining asylum on this basis, have proved to be two very different things.
Through farcical comedy and hard-hitting raw conflict, Kimalia pitches Ade, a Kimali refugee, against Vincent, the North-Phalian border guard with a prejudice.
Written originally for a cast of 19 Mountview graduating students, this urgent, contemporary tale exposes the endemic corruption and prejudice at the heart of the Home Office’s immigration strategy, and aims to question all of our attitudes to race, gender and nationality.
We’re forced to ask ourselves how we’d feel without the protection of law, society, and all the comforts and rights we take for granted. And we ask questions about identity and ‘home’. And what we’re prepared to sacrifice for freedom.
Most of our social and political rights are fragile and, in geological time, recently won. History tells us it needn’t take much for society to regress to brute barbarism. We can’t afford to be smug or relaxed or feel ourselves protected behind the safe and enlightened walls of the European Union. We need to be vigilant and engaged with the life-and-death struggle of the refugee, because one day it might be ours.