The Violence of Detention: Borders, Security, and the Search for Refuge

March 31, 2017

Friday, March 31
9:00 AM-6:00 PM
SFU Harbour Centre, Room 7000

Co-sponsored by SFU's Institute for the Humanities & J.S. Woodsworth Chair in the Humanities

Joanne Brown Symposium on Violence and its Alternatives

This day-long Symposium will address the state of, resistance to, and connections between the egregious migrant detention processes in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S., focusing on efforts to change detention policy, support detainees, and alter the culture of policed borders in an era of increasing human mobility. Canada and the U.K., in particular, have no time limits on the extra-judicial detention of migrants, and the US has the largest detainee population in the world. There are more displaced people—and more detained migrants—now than at any time in history, and the numbers should only continue to grow, especially as the pressures of climate change and environmentally driven conflict escalate.

The day’s events feature panel discussions, a presentation about the “Refugee Tales” project in the U.K., and a workshop organized by members of End Detention Vancouver.


  • Harsha Walia (No One Is Illegal and author of Undoing Border Imperialism)
  • Silky Shah (Detention Watch Network)
  • Robyn Maynard (author of the forthcoming Policing Black Bodies)
  • Ayendri Perera (End Detention Vancouver)
  • David Herd (editor of Refugee Tales and organizer with Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group)

Others TBA