Calling Home


Calling Home

Phones and recording devices are banned at the notorious Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre, so filmmaker Jade Jackman had to be creative in documenting the lives of women asylum seekers detained there.

Here, Jackman issues a rallying cry to artists looking for new ways to engage a news-numbed audience.

“With my documentary, Calling Home, I took motivation from Movement For Justice and shone visibility on the lives of the women inside Yarl's Wood. It is no accident that the women aren't allowed camera phones and that the position of all these detention centres is as far away from towns and transport as possible (you have to take a two hour long train and a taxi before you even get to the detention centres gates). Even if we had been granted access for our film, it would have been mediated through SERCO and the Home Office. So we had to think creatively instead, and the constraints on our style turned out to be a blessing. Rather than taking a rigid approach to documentary, we borrowed techniques from fashion and art, and collaborated with performance artist and founder of She-Zine, Diana Chire, to amplify the voices of the women inside. And, as the women told me, they were excited to contribute to a piece that would present their experiences in a new light.”

Read Jade’s Full Article about Yarl’s Wood and the making of this film at i-D magazine here