Asylum seekers who reach England are sent to live in designated apartments while their case is being processed, waiting for a hearing date to be given to them. This is how Yasmine, Tomas, Jabu and Rigate came to share a two apartment building in Newport.
Tomas comes from Angola, he got to England four months ago for his holiday. However, during his stay he learnt that his human rights defense group had been banned by the angolese government, and every known member tracked and imprisoned. He therefore decided not to go back and applied for asylum in England as a political refugee.
Jabu is a 56 years old woman from Bangladesh, who fled her country six years ago after the political assassination of her husband, and the threats made on her life. After six years she still has no definite status, but has however been able to start a BA in business studies in Newport University that she will complete this year.
Rigate is twenty two and comes from Eritrea, she left two years ago to avoid the compulsory military service her country demands that would have sent her to conflict zones, as Eritrea is still torn apart by civil war. She would like to continue her studies as a hairdresser that she started at home, but after two official rejections she faces deportation if her last appeal does not change her current status.
Yasmine is twenty two and Somalian. She left Mogadisho, to escape the twenty year long civil war and her kidnapper who intended to use her on the sex market. She fortunately escaped and managed to make it to England before being found. Despite what happened to her Yasmine is the spirit of the building, always cheerful and ready to start a new page of her life, constantly repeating: “somehow, someway, things will turn out great!”
Caught between their past and their uncertain future, those people get slowly accustomed to life in England, while trying to build themselves a present.