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Detainee Handbook - a talk with PABLO ALLISON & DANIEL TERRES

16.09.2022 / 08:00 pm

In the context of the exhibition "Public Provocations" we cordially invite you to the opportunity to discover the New Publication by Pablo Allison "The ICE Detainee Handbook" a book about the immigration detention system in the US, in dialogue with the artists. Daniel Terres (freelance curator and urban art curator, Kunsthalle Göterborg) will lead the conversation. The conversation will be in English. Admission is free.

We kindly invite you to the opportunity to discover Pablo Allison's new publication “Detainee Handbook”, a book about the the immigration prison system in the USA. Daniel Terres (freelance curator and curator for urban art, Kunsthalle Göterborg) will lead the conversation. The conversation will take place in English. Admission is free. Hope to see you there!

Daniel Terres migrated to Sweden 2005 after spending most of his life in-between Argentina and Bolivia. He is currently based in Gothenburg, Sweden where he is working as an independent curator and as project manager for the unit Urban Konst at Göteborgs Konsthall. His formal academic background is on social work and pedagogy but he has been working on the midground of contemporary art, urban culture, and social movements the last decade. He has produced and curated a large number of street art festivals, publications and exhibitions, including Pablo Allisons’ first solo show in Scandinavia Migrantes Valientes- Stories of Migration (10th Dec. 2021- 13th Feb. 2022 at Blå Stället Konsthall and Hammarkullen Konsthall, a cooperation between Blå Stället Kulturhus and Urban Konst at Göteborgs Konsthall).

Pablo Allison was born in Manchester, UK and grew up in Mexico City.

His work explores ideas that revolve around, control, reclusion, displacement, freedom, entrapment and migration among others through his practice.

In 2020, Pablo published a five-year photography project entitled The Light of the Beast. This is an ongoing body of work documenting the journey of migrants from Central America trying to reach the USA. The book was published in the UK by “Pavement Studio” and will be republished in the USA by “Beyond the Streets” later in 2022.

Pablo has presented his work through the medium of storytelling and talks, across Mexico, Sweden, UK, USA, France, The Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Finland and Germany - received with great admiration.

His images have been published by The Huffington Post, National Geographic, Vice Magazine, El Pais, Juxtapoz Magazine, both via online and physical channels. Pablo has also collaborated with NGOs such as Open Society Foundation, Amnesty International and ActionAid among others with the aim to share and educate audiences of the plight of the migrants - an often-neglected group.

He currently lives and works between Latin America, UK and Europe.

Other works by Pablo include:

* Operation Jurassic, published in 2018 (Pavement Studio), co-authored with his sister, Roxanna Allison (a documentary photographer) - describing his experiences before, during and after a 19-month prison sentence in the UK over criminal charges for graffiti. It was recipient of The National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance Bursary.

* Moral Turpitude, self-published in 2021 and co-authored with his sister, Roxanna Allison. The book discloses their shared experiences while Pablo was detained and imprisoned in an ICE detention Centre and later deported to Mexico under crimes of ‘Moral Turpitude’.

In May of 2019 I embanked on a journey starting in southern Mexico which involved travelling from Mexico City to the state of Washington, in the United States, and eventually completing the trip from the West coast of Canada up to Halifax, in the far east of that country.

My brief was to travel on top of the various freight trains (collectively known as “The Beast”) that migrants regularly use to reach the US, and to document the landscape and Migration.

After several weeks travelling up the US west coast I arrived at the Canadian border in Bellingham, a small coastal town in Washington State, and presented my travel documentation to a CBP officer. Following a routine check-up, I was unexpectedly denied access into Canada due to concerns about my intention for going there.

Consequently, I was escorted to a US immigration office on the border. I was then questioned for several hours and later handcuffed and locked in a holding cell without any clear reason or explanation about my status. I was eventually transferred to a detention centre in Tacoma, Washington.

Once at the prison, I was asked to remove my civilian clothes and wear a blue prison uniform, my personal details were taken from me and put on to the prison database system. I was officially in an ICE detention centre, a prison, and did not know when I would be released.

During my incarceration at in prison, I tried to make sense of the situation by occupying my mind with creative activities. I befriended Mexicans, Salvadorians, Hondurans, Guatemalans, and people of other nationalities.

I listened to their stories and showed empathy, whilst documenting the reality experienced by inmates suffering ICE detentions.

Since my photography focuses primarily on themes of migration, I quickly realised I had to take advantage of this unfortunate situation. Although I had no access to my cameras, I was able to find pencils and paper to draw and write about my everyday life in US confinement, just as I had done several years earlier while incarcerated in the UK.