About

In Limbo Testimonies

What is the In Limbo Project?

The In Limbo Project (ILP) is a not-for-profit non-political initiative set up by a group of EU27 citizens in the UK to record testimonies from the five million victims of Brexit and allow their voices to be heard.
 
ILP was started in 2017 by Elena Remigi to produce the first In Limbo Project book called In Limbo: Brexit Testimonies from EU citizens in the UK. In 2018, ILP published a second book, In Limbo Too: Brexit Testimonies from UK citizens in the EU. This second book is born of a collaboration between the In Limbo Project’s group “In Limbo – Our Brexit Testimonies” and the group, “Brexpats – Hear Our Voice”.
 

A true grassroots endeavour, the In Limbo Project has gone from strength to strength as the books have become the go-to reference documents to understand the harrowing human cost of Brexit for all those who, having embraced the European dream and built their life on it, have been plunged since June 2016 in a dark and anguishing limbo. These 5 million people are threatened to lose everything, (their homes, their friends, their jobs, their families, their sense of identity…) through no fault of their own and, for most of them, without their having had any say in what’s happening.

Book 1: In Limbo: Brexit Testimonies from EU citizens in the UK
This not-for-profit book was compiled and edited by Elena Remigi (an Italian interpreter and translator  resident in the UK for fifteen years), Véronique Martin (a French author resident in the UK for thirty years) and Tim Sykes (a British editor). The testimonies written by EU citizens in the UK were collected in the early months of 2017 and are published with their full consent. They describe in moving details the trauma caused by the uncertainty their authors have been experiencing since the Brexit referendum in June 2016.
 
This book comes with a thought-provoking and touching foreword by George Szirtes, a well-known Hungarian-born British poet. It aims to give a voice to a sample of the three million who are so often treated in the British political discourse and tabloid press as a depersonalised mass of ‘migrants’. In contrast, this anthology reveals them as citizens and as individuals, whose lives have been interrupted and plunged into a painful limbo by political events in which they have had no say. A complementary perspective from British nationals who have settled in other parts of the EU is also briefly represented at the end of the collection, as it was felt from the start that all 5 million people potentially displaced by Brexit are very much part of the same narrative.
Book 2: In Limbo Too: Brexit Testimonies from UK citizens in the EU

The second not-for-profit book of the In Limbo duology was compiled and edited by Elena Remigi and a team of co-editors from the EU27 citizens’ group “In Limbo – Our Brexit testimonies” and the UK citizens in the EU group “Brexpats – Hear Our Voice” headed by Debbie Williams. The introduction is written by  Professor A.C. Grayling.This second volume, In Limbo Too, continues where In Limbo had left off and focuses on the British in the EU. It represents further proof of the deep solidarity between the EU in UK and UK in EU citizens – a united European family, their distress and limbo, mirror images of one another across the Channel.

Both In Limbo Project anthologies give a voice to a sample of the neglected 5 million citizens who have built their lives on their rights to Freedom of Movement and are now at risk of losing everything in the Brexit shambles.

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We really hope that these In Limbo books will help alert the British and EU politicians to the plight of this neglected group of citizens who have the most to lose from Brexit and encourage a prompt, effective and comprehensive resolution of the pressing question of the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU. At this crucial time in the negotiations, we need more than ever the help of the EU to secure and ring fence our rights.
 
We thank you in anticipation for reading our books and supporting our cause.

Elena Remigi (founder and director of the In Limbo Project; co-editor of In Limbo and In Limbo Too) .

Véronique Martin (associate director of the In Limbo Project; co-editor of In Limbo).

Debbie Williams (founder and director of Brexpats Hear Our Voice; co-editor of In Limbo Too)

Who is behind the project?

The In Limbo Project was founded by Elena Remigi, an Italian interpreter resident in Britain, who felt that the numerous EU voices expressing their distress since the Brexit Referendum would have a much more powerful impact if they were gathered together as a collective testimony. Elena had also realised by then that most people (even politicians) had little understanding of the uncertainty and discrimination Europeans living in the UK have to face as a result of the Brexit vote. Elena decided this collection of testimonies needed to be made available to as wide a readership as possible, including both decision-makers and members of the public alike.

In March 2017, Elena started a Facebook group called ‘Our Brexit Testimonies’ with the assistance of British editor Tim Sykes, and Véronique Martin, a French academic and a UK resident for thirty years with her British husband. They were helped in their work by a team of dedicated moderators.

In less than a month, the group had grown to over 1000 members. Its atmosphere was carefully nurtured to create a safe supportive environment as many had difficult and painful stories to share. The candid testimonies that were gathered between March and April 2017 show the many ways in which real lives have been affected by the outcome of the Referendum. They illustrate the practical difficulties and the profound emotional stress that has been imposed on many people by this new political situation.

All the testimonies were shared with the full consent of their writers. Several preferred to sign with their initials or remain anonymous because of concerns about possible discrimination. Others will never appear in the book, as their writers felt they had too much to lose and were fearful of repercussions.

Against the odds, the first book was created and published in less than two months as an intensive labour of love and dedication. Its editors endeavoured to include as many voices as possible but those who could not be included were published in the group’s associated
 In Limbo Project blog.

In 2018, testimonies for the second book from UK citizens living in EU countries outside the UK were collected, compiled and edited. Elena Remigi as lead editor assembled a new team of volunteers with co-editor Debbie Williams from the Brexpats Hear Our Voice (BHOV) group. This second book was published to mark the second anniversary.

This project has only been possible thanks to the hard work of our passionate volunteers

Do you know how it feels?

Imagine… Imagine you left your native country because you wanted to explore your neighbouring world and embrace the European dream. Imagine you truly believed that the European Union was your home and that, as well as being a citizen of the country you were born in, you were also a citizen of Europe. Imagine you fell deeply in love with your new country. Imagine you built a life there, married, had children, a career, started a business… You felt happy and totally integrated. You were at home.

Then one day, your new country decides to vote to leave the European Union, which means that all the rules you have built your life on are going to change. One morning, after years and even decades, you suddenly feel unwelcome, unwanted, betrayed. Your certainties, your life and your security are gone. Your sense of identity too. Through no fault of your own, you are stuck in a painful limbo.

This is what has happened since the Brexit Referendum in June 2016 to the EU citizens who have made their life in the UK. This book of testimonies is their voice, their stories from Limbo, haunted by the poignant question: where is home?

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