Helen Dewhurst | Weave
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Participative, Digital Craft, Social Activism








Feet walking with purpose: voices calling for change.
Individuals walking in solidarity with those in Immigration Detention, come together to support and raise awareness.  


‘Weave’ is a piece of digital-craft and social activism, created with and alongside people with experience of Immigration Detention. The project draws together contributions from these individuals, their allies and supporters.


Created out of two participatory interactions, firstly during the Covid-19 Pandemic UK Lockdown 2020 and secondly, post Lockdown during early 2022, the project gathers gestures of ‘collective action’, fostering a sense of togetherness, while being isolated and apart.


Connected through the act of walking and brought together through this ‘digital patchwork’, the resulting ‘digital quilt’, expresses individual voices calling for transformation and change, for a culture of warmth and care.


It demands an end to the process of ‘Unlimited’ or ‘Indefinite Detention’ within the UK, an aspect of the current UK Immigration System that has been documented as harmful to individuals, their families and friends.


“Unlike most European countries, the UK currently has no statutory upper time limit that a person can be held in immigration detention’’ (Migration Observatory, UK)


Solidarity over time:


Weave is a ‘digital quilt’ constructed out of participatory input from a range of different individuals. The first process of engagement was during a week of Lockdown in 2020. Collectively, the group spent spent a week actively dedicated ‘in solidarity’ and peer-support, with those experiencing, or with experience of, Immigration Detention during the pandemic.


Engaging in a process of ‘charting time’, each individual recorded their activities each day, coded in different colours – self care, learning, cooking – and time spent walking in solidarity each day on ‘daily walks’. These ‘Time Records’ were then translated into colourful patterns or ‘quilt squares’, with each square representing an individual’s week. Each person also created a ‘solidarity dedication’ for their week. The time walking can be seen recorded as ‘blue’ sections within the quilts.


The second interaction was during a walk in Kent, (Spring 2022) once Lockdown had lifted. Individuals filmed their feet walking at different points on the walk through the countryside. Drawn together within the Quilt, the films form a collected record of the group’s shared physical process of ‘walking’, a collective gesture calling urgently for change.




Concept & Facilitation Helen Dewhurst
Production Assistance Isobel Southerland


Made in association with: 
‘Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group’ [@gatwickdetaineeswelfaregroup]
‘Refugee Tales’ [@refugeetales]


Thank you to all the participants and those who have supported and contributed to the project.



Made Possible by:
Arts Council England’s Emergency Response Fund