Homeland Insecurity

Just got a note from Ant Hampton about a very troubling development in the UK. Apparently they’ve caught a nasty case of Homeland Security-itis:

The Home Office recently introduced new restrictions on international artists and academics visiting the UK for talks, temporary exhibitions, concerts or artists’ residencies. Visitors now have to submit to a series of arduous and expensive proceedures to get their visa, and then more bureaucratic controls when they are in the UK. Already a series of concerts and residencies have been cancelled.

the above is from manifestoclub.com.

below is a posting from the artsadmin e-news:

A.1) SUPPORT IS NEEDED BY ARTISTS, STUDENTS, ARTS GROUPS AND ACADEMICS COMMITTED TO INTERNATIONAL CULTURE

The petition against the UK Home Office’s pernicious regulations against non-EU artists and academics has attracted nearly 4,300 signatories. We need 10,000 before we submit it to Parliament. The new regulations have prevented reputable artists and performers from Russia, China, USA, Iraq, Indonesia and India from coming to the UK. Join the campaign, sign the petition, get involved.

While I haven’t seen the new UK regulations I can only imagine. If they are half as onerous as the U.S. visa process became post-9/11 at DHS and USCIS, then they are going to be seriously impaired.

We’ve got to keep borders porous when it comes to intellectual and cultural exchange whether it is the UK, the USA or anywhere else.

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