Mohamad Hafeda is an artist, writer and academic whose practice focuses on issues of borders, refuge, displacement, representation, and spatial rights.
The Time While Waiting is a brand-new film centred around the experiences of Wakefield’s refugee and asylum-seeking community. Shown for the first time, the film is set in the backdrop of an asylum seekers’ accommodation centre opposite a high-security prison in Wakefield. Displaced protagonists were invited to record their experiences through discussions and activities based on their skills and pastimes. Through this, they demonstrated subtle resistance practices as well as coping mechanisms during their time while waiting for settled status in the UK.
The stories they chose to share with the artist expose how time is mechanised as a ‘border’, trapping people in the country’s legal system, while the city’s urban setting and support network become boundaries for both their legal and temporal confinements. Collectively, the protagonists construct a timeline of refuge, alongside the artist weaving a parallel timeline of legislation that shapes their experiences; dating back to the first UK immigration law in 1971 and ending with the latest Borders Bill in 2022. An incredibly eye-opening interpretation of immigration in the UK, this film will be screened alongside related material and resources.
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Shown alongside the film, Evidencing Time (2018-23) allows the audience to view the multimedia participatory activities that the participants used to record and make visible the borders of time. Adjacent to the screening, Hafeda’s detailed timeline artwork, Temporalities of Displacement and Crisis in Online News Media (2023) maps the news headlines between 2015–2020 that explicitly reference displacement notions of temporality, and the perception and experience of time. Whilst a 3D model, Love Lane: Urban Confinement (2023) shows the spatial juxtaposition of the IA centre and Wakefield prison.