Here’s a petition co-ordinated by the Manifesto Club, regarding the impractical restrictions placed on visiting artists invited to perform in the UK.
The Home Office recently introduced new restrictions on international artists and academics visiting the UK for talks, temporary exhibitions, concerts or artists’ residencies. Visitors now have to submit to a series of arduous and expensive proceedures to get their visa, and then more bureaucratic controls when they are in the UK. Already a series of concerts and residencies have been cancelled.
In addition to making UK cultural life a little more miserable, these measures also serve to reduce our “soft power” abroad. I am reminded of the time when Thomas Mapfumo, the Zimbabwean singer, was denied the chance to perform at WOMAD, for similar immigration related problems.