It Takes a Decade by Natasha Davis for the Morton Hall Big Walk | Postponed

Image from Natasha Davis' installation Unrooted

***In light of recent developments regarding COVID-19 we regret that we have taken the decision to postpone this event. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused, please see our website & social media for updates, these will also be sent via our mailing list***

Starting at Lincoln Castle, Castle Hill, Lincoln LN1 3AA
The walk is not suitable for those under 12 years of age.
Events taking place at MotF are suitable for all ages.

As part of Mansions of the Future’s Lincoln Live programme & in partnership with the Justice Arts & Migration Network artist Natasha Davis will lead a 12 mile walk from Lincoln Castle (Lincoln’s Victorian Prison) to Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre (Swinderby, Lincolnshire). Natasha’s commission – It Takes a Decade – will be supported by a new work from Jane Olson, following an open call for applications.

The ancient practices of pilgrimage and walking the walls, beating the bounds, will be re-oriented to an acknowledgment of how the policy of detention without trial plays out in real time for real people in our own county. The walk will not mimic or replicate the work and activities of existing protest and asylum support organisations but will be a collective action, response and acknowledgement of the detention / removal centre and the lives within. 

Morton Hall is an Immigration Removal Centre located in the village of Morton Hall in Lincolnshire, UK. The centre is operated by Her Majesty’s Prison Service and was previously a women’s prison. In 2011 Morton Hall was re-opened as an Immigration Removal Centre, holding adult males awaiting deportation. The centre was formally opened by then Immigration Minister Damian Green.

The Morton Hall Big Walk will start from Lincoln Castle at 9:00am. For participants joining us via trains arriving into Lincoln from Newark, Sheffield or Nottingham just after 9:00am a representative from the Justice, Arts & Migration Network will be waiting outside Lincoln Station to lead you to join the rest of the walking group en route. The walk will be documented. Please speak with a member of the Morton Hall Big Walk team at the beginning of the day if you do not wish to be filmed.

Please ensure that you wear weather appropriate clothing and sturdy, comfy footwear. The walk will take approximately 7 hours to complete, allowing time for 10 interventions led by artists Natasha Davis and Jane Olsen. We will arrive at Doddington Hall (halfway) at 12 noon for a 30-minute lunch break and rest stop. Please bring a packed lunch, plenty of water and a thermos of tea / coffee if you wish. Refreshments will also be available at Doddington Hall’s Giant Bike Shop Café, though it is likely to be busy. A second and final comfort break will come when we reach the village of Eagle (2.5 miles from Morton Hall). 

The walk is relatively flat, and the majority takes place on public footpaths but at some points we will need to walk single file along the roadside. If you own a high visibility vest or jacket please wear it, a limited number will be available to borrow on the day. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. A route map will be published online shortly.

After arriving at Morton Hall, we will be led by Natasha in a moment of reflection before continuing on to Swinderby Train Station, a short walk from the detention centre. We will take the 4:07pm train arriving back into Lincoln at 4:25pm. Tickets cannot be purchased from Swinderby Station but can be bought during the journey or on arrival at Lincoln Station (£4.80 single without a railcard). 

We invite you to join us at Mansions of the Future on arrival back in Lincoln, here participants can discuss their reflections on the walk or share their work / research which responds to the themes of involuntary institutional detention, structural violence or immigration. Food and refreshments will be provided. 

A display of supporting photography, documentation and research will be presented at Mansions of the Future on Saturday 28 March with FREE events & activities taking place throughout the day (booking not required):

12:00pm – 3:00pm: Writer and storyteller Tanya Akrofi will deliver a drop-in family workshop titled “there’s no place like home” exploring the feelings of safety and comfort, generated by the feeling of “home”.

12:00pm – 6:30pm: Chloe Souter, a long-term volunteer in the North of France, co-founder of Maison Sesame and project co-ordinator of Precious Plastic Herzeele, will speak with visitors, offering an overview of the current situation at the French-English border. 

With conditions in informal camps being at an all-time low and with no access to emergency shelter this winter, organisations have seen the largest number of families and children sleeping rough, outside since the refugee crisis in 2015.  Grassroots organisations continue to provide support, aid, access to basic human needs and push for better conditions on a daily basis. But what has changed in the past 5 years and what does the future look like for those trying to seek safety in the UK? 

3:00pm – 6:30pm: Audiences will be invited to join game developer and Senior Lecturer in Computer Science Dr Jussi Holopainen in testing a new VR experience developed alongside Stephi Hemelryk Donald of the Justice Arts & Migration Network and Tanya Akrofi. The VR simulation has been devised to offer an insight into the experiences of migration. 

Natasha Davis’ work is regularly made in collaboration and is often site-specific; she explores body, memory, identity, migration and displacement, working across performance, installation, film and publication. Her work has been shown in the UK (at institutions including National Theatre Studio, Tate Modern, V&A Museum, Birmingham Rep, Rich Mix London, Barbican Plymouth, Playhouse Derry, Capstone Liverpool, Colchester Arts Centre) and internationally in Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Serbia, USA, Canada, Australia, India, China, and South Africa (at venues such as Power Station of Arts Shanghai, Project Arts Centre Dublin, Point Centre for Contemporary Art Nicosia and Theatre Works Melbourne). 

In 2019 Natasha was commissioned by Future Arts Centres in collaboration with Live Collision, Dublin; ARC Stockton and Lincoln Drill Hall to create Welcome Town. Her work is featured in Traces, a public project about migrant artists significantly contributing to UK arts.

Jane Olson is a Musician, Composer and Sound Artist based in the East Midlands.  She is inspired by the complex interactions we have with our environment, with each other, and our changing relationships with spirituality and nature.  Through her work she seeks to engage her audience in a sometimes challenging discourse, to stimulate thought and expose emotions through sound.  

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