We are proud to have published the first two parts of PILC’s new Other Voices series.
The first publication in the series is a memorial by our EEA homeless rights adviser Kasia Makowska to some of the homeless EEA clients we’ve lost over the past few years. This publication is a contribution to the Museum of Homelessness’s Dying Homeless Project. It can be accessed in English here and in Polish here.
An extremely limited number of printed copies of the two publications are available. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy.
A third publication in the series will be published in early 2023.
About the series:
Litigation is at the core of PILC’s work. We bring legal cases on behalf of oppressed groups & individuals and in solidarity with grassroots activists fighting for radical change. In our short lifetime we’ve won victories that have helped counter some of the worst excesses of state surveillance, social cleansing, gender-based violence & structural racism.
The courts are a necessary terrain in the struggle for a better world. Yet we’re painfully aware of the limits of legal action. The law is a product of the socio-economic system we live under. It is set up to reinforce that system. The remedies offered by judges or public inquiries will always be inadequate to addressing systemic harm.
Since our foundation as a law centre we’ve tried to hammer home the wider social and political implications of the cases we take on. More recently we’ve undertaken radical rights education and worked to raise awareness of how public law can help communities resist injustice.
In 2020 we launched a blog and began publishing advocacy reports, personal testimonies and policy analysis. We’ve come to see researching and telling compelling stories about how the law operates in our society as a vital complement to our day-to-day litigation and casework.
Our new series of publications builds on this strand of PILC’s work by making space for voices that tend to be marginalised in mainstream legal, policy and human-rights discourses.
With a focus on PILC’s priority area of migrant destitution, we centre the practices and analysis of frontline workers and activists, as well as people and communities treated by our (legal-political-economic) system as marginal or disposable—who inhabit, as Denise Ferreira Da Silva writes, ‘that place where what should happen to nobody happens every day’.
We don’t see this series as an exercise in ‘inclusion’ or ‘user voice’. Making the tent bigger is pointless if the rules of the game stay the same. We’d like these publications to upset the terms of the ‘policy debate’ around migration and homelessness—its language, its horizons and the power relations expressed through its very silences.
Our contributors—PILC staff, clients and friends—speak & write with eloquence, intellect and deep feeling, challenging received narratives and leaden theories of change. They offer a sobering account of the way things are now.
Through the spirit & energy of resistance they articulate, they also gesture towards a future worth fighting for.
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