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Illustrated leaflet for the healthcare department in Dungavel Detention Centre, Scotland


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Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre is an immigration detention centre based in Scotland, which houses immigrants on behalf of the Home Office.

I was commissioned by Medco, a private health care service that provides for the asylum seekers at Dungavel, to create a leaflet that communicates the role of the nurses at the detention centre. Since removal centres are populated by individuals who speak an infinite number of languages, the medical team at Dungavel were experiencing difficulties communicating their role to the asylum seekers.

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I was commissioned to develop a four-page booklet that would communicate the role of the nurse within the context of the initial arrival of the immigrant at the centre – all without using a single word. Working closely with the team at Medco, I designed a short storyboard that takes the viewer through the process of arriving at the centre in a removal van, all the way through to getting searched and being taken into an empty room to be seen by a nurse. It was important for the medical team to communicate the fact that they sympathised with the frustrations the detainees were experiencing.

A goal of the project was to visualize the process without idealizing the first-hand experience of being a detainee. The illustration style is a direct response to this challenge – the use of black and white, combined with the expressive brush work and bold lines are combined to recreate a sense of the bleak reality that the migrants are facing. In contrast to the illustration style, the front cover of the booklet was designed to provide an approachable opening to the following pages. The graphic motifs that adorn the cover were inspired by research that I carried out into universal symbols of hope, repair and faith.

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