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Powerful tales to be told in Rochdale

25 January 2018

Writer David Herd giving a speech.

Acclaimed writers will be heading to Rochdale in February 2018 to mark Mother Language Day - a worldwide celebration of linguistic and cultural diversity.

Poets Ian Duhig and David Herd (pictured) will be joined by Anna Pincus, founder of the Refugee Tales project. Together they will share stories made in collaboration with refugees, casting a light on a global crisis.

The stories, published in ‘Refugee Tales 2’ in 2017, include the frighteningly common experiences of Europe’s new underclass. While those with ‘citizenship’ enjoy basic human rights (such as the right not to be detained without charge for more than 14 days), people seeking asylum may be suspended for years in what some have described as ‘Kafka-esque’ uncertainty.

‘Casting a light on a global crisis'

Rochdale Pioneers Museum host ‘Refugee Tales’ at 5.30pm on Wednesday, 21 February 2018, when the guest writers will re-tell stories of individuals with direct experience of Britain’s policy of indefinite immigration detention. Presenting their accounts anonymously, as modern day counterparts to the pilgrims’ stories in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the event will offer rare, intimate glimpses into otherwise untold suffering.

Tickets are £3.50, including refreshments, and are on sale now.

Book your tickets for the Refugee Tales event on Rochdale Literature Festival

The event, being held in partnership with Rochdale Pioneers Museum, is part of Manchester’s UNESCO City of Literature series. In 2017 Manchester joined a global network of cities dedicated to pursuing excellence in literature, engaging as many citizens as possible in a dynamic culture of words, and encouraging the creation and sharing of stories.

International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.