HAIM’S VIRTUOSOS RETURN

HAIM’S VIRTUOSOS RETURN FOR A SWEET SUMMER

My
take on ‘Something to Tell You,’ the latest record from the L.A. sisters

by
Thomas Serre – July 7, 2017

THE
first time
I heard Haim on the radio, roughly five years ago, I was amazed by the level of
nostalgia that was coming out of this sweet tune. I actually couldn’t stop shaking
my arms to the raw beats of drums and electric strings, whilst tapping frenetically
on the floor with my foot. A few years of downtime later, Haim’s pulse is back
on track with the highly expected album released July 7 2017, exactly 10 years
after their first ever music production. A few years spent touring later, the
all-girl music band finally shared a glimpse of what the new release will sound
like. Another musical oddity from the hills of L.A. or a surprising new melancholic
wave? Well, yes and no. After listening to a few peeps from the just-released album
- Something to tell you - it seems as
we should all be preparing ourselves for an electric and fresh summery kick
from the three Californian sisters.

A soft-rock
anthem

Their debut LP Days are gone, was a breathtakingly innovative piece of work,
laying out a set of eighties soft-rock tunes that skyrocketed the charts with
songs such as Forever and If I could change your mind. While the pulsed
music had a strong ‘80s presence and warmth in Days are gone, the second Made-in-Haim album is also a disco and
folk ode. Imagine Daft Punk, The Mamas & the Papas and Chaka Khan, and of
course the Haim sisters, in a recording studio, well they’d be making You never knew, a country-electric-folk
tune. After nearly four years of worldwide touring, their latest video clip Want you back - that just hit 11 million
streams on Spotify – blends as a folk-pop-gospel tune where the three sisters are
passing the singing baton along the cadenced partition. But memory lane is not
the only great thing in this album,
the organic vibes echoing in my ears like an anthem to a frugal life made up of
love and hopelessness.  This could be
Haim’s secret weapon: a twist of folk, a sick beat and an ordinary voice – led
by Daniele’s rounded voice.

Never-ending
nostalgia 

Inspirations
such as VH1 from the eighties and Shania Twain clearly shaped Haim –  it rhymes with time, if you were wondering - since the very beginning of their
creating process. When making the second and latest record, Danielle, the
middle sister, said, they wanted to bring “a live, raw sound” that expressed their
song writing, influenced from Chaka Khan, Prince and the Eagles but is nevertheless
the result of the trio’s genius. In this long-awaited second piece of musical
curiosity, the three sisters, Danielle, Este, and Alana, perfectly crafted new concoctions
resulting in an efficient blend of soft pop-rock and R&B’s lustiness. Haim’s music speaks about life and spontaneous
moments - complicated end of relationships, doubting period for young adults –

Haim’s
latest album is available on all streaming platform and here – Haim Productions Inc., Polydor Records


HUMAN RIGHTS ON LOCKDOWN

Exposing the harrowing treatment of LGBT asylum seekers in the UK.

LISTEN TO THE RADIO DOCUMENTARY TEASER HEREHuman Rights on Lockdown


In many countries lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face significant levels of violence and discrimination. 72 countries around the world still consider sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex illegal, and in some of those people face the death penalty because of who they are and who they love. Today, LGBT people who are isolated and severally persecuted are forced to flee from their families, their homes, their countries. Their main destination? The United Kingdom where thousands of political and war refugees have come to seek help.

The right to claim asylum is a right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has been a central tenant of international Human’s rights law for many decades. .The UK has held for many years asylum seekers and still operates one of the largest immigration detention centres estate in Europe. 

In October 2016, a new report exposed the bullying, abuse, harassment and violence that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people asylum seekers experience in British immigration detention centres.

What really happens behind closed doors and how are these asylum seekers treated by both detainees and guards? 
This landmark report, which was shared online and presented to the government late October, found that all 9 immigration detention centres in the UK are poorly equipped to protect LGBT asylum seekers.

Immigration detention has serious negative effects on an individual’s physical and mental health. Yet LGBT people in UK immigration detention centres suffer specific abuse not experienced by others as this report makes clear, which also work to alleviate against their ability to adequately present their legal claim.

Over the last few years there has been increasing public awareness of the immigration detention system in this country, which is one of the least known negative human rights issue in the UK.

London based UKLGIG (United Kingdom Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group) and Stonewall UK published a joint research report named ”No Safe Refuge” where they exposed the injustice that LGBT asylum seekers experience everyday in these centres, mostly from other detainees but also from detention guards. This is an exclusive piece of research into the lived experiences of LGBT asylum seekers in immigration detention in the UK. Stonewall and UKLGIG conducted 22 in-depth interviews with lesbian, gay, bi and trans asylum seekers. Their experience with staff and other detainees, their physical and emotional well-being while in detention and their access to legal and health services was questioned. It is also worth to note that participants are from 11 different countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean as well as Russia.

Between November 2015 and March 2016, Stonewall and UKLGIG conducted 22 in-depth interviews with lesbian, gay, bi and transgender asylum seekers. They asked the participants about their experience with staff and other detainees, their physical and emotional well-being while in detention and their access to legal and health services. The report reflects the diverse experiences among LGBT asylum seekers. Participants are from 11 different countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean as well as Russia.

Transgender asylum seekers face particular threats of violence in detention. One transgender interviewee reported being placed in multiple male detention centres, even though she made it known that she identifies as a woman. Trans detainees face particular danger in having to share bedrooms and communal shower rooms with other detainees for example

Some testimonies from transgender participants are particularly distressing. The British government already accepted as a matter of policy that trans people should not be detained in immigration detention centre but yet despite this insurance, UKLGIG and Stonewall are concerned those abuses will continue to happen, because knowledge and gender identity issues within the asylum and in British officials is very limited.


What type of support can they give?

They facilitate access to specialist legal advice, have a network of some 40 refugees’ expert practitioners who are LGBT sensitive who provide legal advice and information. UKLGIG have peer to peer support groups for men, for women and this year they launched their very first trans support group, for transgender people from a wide range of countries, who are often very isolated and marginalised. These groups are a safe and inclusive space for asylum seekers to meet other people in similar situation who may be from a same country or a similar background. Eventually, when an asylum seeker is granted refugee status, they still have many of the problems they they’ve experienced before, still excluded by their family or their communities, they are still surviving the trauma that they’ve experienced from the human right abuses that they were subjected in their home countries and need to apply for housing.

Meet the team

It’s important to emphasise the diversity of asylum seekers, they may be Christian, they may be Muslim, of all ages and all identity. Some have received very little education, some have Master’s degree. What they all have in common is that they are survivors of human rights abuses and fear some very real risk of human risk violation if they return to their country.

Medical treatment fails to meet the particular needs of LGBT detainees. Lack of training and experience with LGBT issues and discriminatory attitudes from health care staff make it hard for LGBT people to speak openly about their health concerns and receive the treatment and medication they require. Also, the report clearly shows health care staff aren’t equipped to respond to the specific needs of trans people. Detainees are often denied access to vital medication, such as HIV drugs, anti-depressants and even transition hormones.

Ultimately, a great number of recommendations were given to the British government after the release of this unprecedented report.

An inclusive LGBT guidance to help inform civil servants about the ways in which they should be assessing these claims is expected in the further months. Paul Dillane clearly says: “Sexually explicit questions have no part of the asylum process. Comparing the way in which LGBT people might dress or might live their lives in the UK is not a helpful exercise because LGBT people in Gambia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan simply don’t have the same freedoms”.

Both organisations’, UKLGIG and Stonewall UK, main goal is a maximum limit of 28 days on immigration detention. Some people are survivors of torture, victims of trafficking, children and LGBT people who are at risk who should never be in immigration detention in the first place unless it’s the most exceptional circumstances. A fundamental reform of the asylum system to approve the ability of officials and the governments’ to adequately assess claims for refugee status is the only solution.

A Home Office spokesperson shared the following statement ‘We remain committed to improving the asylum process for those claiming asylum on the basis of their sexual orientation and decision-makers are provided with dedicated guidance and training on the management of such claims. ‘In September, the Government introduced the “adult at risk” concept into decision-making on immigration detention with a clear presumption that vulnerable people who may be at risk of particular harm in detention should not be detained, building on the existing legal framework.’

The use of the #Unlocked16 on social media, especially Twitter has seen a movement formed fighting these issues. Click hereto see more and interact, follow stories and share them.

On November 29th, the House of Lords discussed the matter during a formal parliamentary meeting. The attached video shares the questions and answers from both main political parties.

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