‘England made me a criminal, not Jamaica, so why should I be sent back there?’

One of the papers in the Racism and Resistance session (10:30am – PSH314) is by Luke De Noronha on ‘Deported Black Britons’. Luke is a DPhil student in Anthropology (COMPAS) in the University of Oxford, and is conducting research into the lives and experiences of the ex-offenders who are being deported from the UK back to Jamaica, a place that many of them hardly know. Luke’s research involves gathering the personal accounts of those being deported, as well as their friends and families, which immediately humanises individuals who are often stripped of their identity, history and indeed, humanity, whether in news reporting or public discourse more generally.

In an article for Lacuna, Luke presents an interview with Chris, an ex-offender who has been deported back to Jamaica, conducted over Whatsapp, a mobile messaging application. Interspersed within Chris’ story, Luke provides contextual detail regarding policy and procedure, as well as other material taken from his research, acting as an additional layer of narrative. It is a powerful device that helps demonstrate how these deeply personal tales are shaped by powerful social and political forces.

As Luke says,
It is important to tell the stories of people sent back. While it is usually argued that ‘foreign criminals’ have endangered the British public and should therefore be sent ‘home’, many of these ‘foreign criminals’ are being exiled from all that they know. They don’t appear all that foreign nor do they define themselves as migrants; they are not sent home but banished from it. There are people all around the world who sound, act, and feel British, whatever that means, and yet who have been deported to countries they barely remember.

Luke De Noronha presents ‘Deporting Black Britons’ in the Race and Resistance session (Panel 3), 10:30-11:45 in room PSH314

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