Alternative perspectives on small boats and the movement of people
I am glad I took the time to read your story. Love the message.
Thanks for articulating and teasing out some of the strands of current human migrations and the function of art, (particularly photography and documentary film making in your examples) in repesenting specific events that are so badly needed as an antidote to the awful propaganda pumped out by this current British government on these matters. More power to the activist charities, rescue services and legal teams who represent something more hopeful. The overall context of climate change driven movement is the big picture that needs to be communicated again and again to 'host' populations. Grrrrr.
A story that needs telling, although I'm afraid it'll probably only be heard by people who already have a heart open for it. Years ago I did a photo series for a charity project, it ran as an exhibition for a day as part of an awareness event of the difficulties faced by migrants, sad to see things seem to only have changed for the worse
Thankyou for sharing your insights on this tragic and incredibly difficult subject.
I listened to this article first on your podcast then went to see the images and videos. The podcast is fantastic -- without the images first we have the experience of entering your mind and imagining these artists’ works. Then the images add another layer. As you say, art has the power to show us these nuances. It can go deeper with emotions and push ideas further. I found it useful that your post shows us the terrible heartbreak like the sinking ship caught on film and then the optimism of Anderson. I have researched migrants in fiction films (not refugees specifically) and what the filmmakers often play with is the way people don’t know the facts when they decide they don’t want migrants to come into their spaces. The more information they have, the more they tend to want the migrants allowed in. I know this is a generalisation but something I’ve seen repeatedly through a variety of research. Thanks for this and what a great post to start your podcast.
I applaud these artists who are trying to bring sanity and humanity back into this topic, and I also find Orna Ben ami's work very touching. It's sad that this should be framed as an "alternative" perspective, but even sadder that there is now a refugee art industry, quite far from these sensitive approaches, seizing on the subject as the quickest route to attention and profit. It's a very thin line to walk between amplifying refugees' voices and speaking for/over them. I came here as a "refugee" myself, I was in a position to get on a plane and be here legally but I still had to leave my life and home behind to start over from nothing, and it completely sucks; you never stop wishing you hadn't had to leave. And I have left behind so many people who could technically leave, but can't face it and instead have chosen to waste away and die in their home. To imagine people would risk their lives on a boat to go on a lifelong exile if they had ANY other option, is a disingenuous fantasy.
I despair about the Illegal Migration Bill. Just as you say, it's not someone else's problem and we need international solidarity more than ever. It's interesting to hear about the situation in Mayotte. I only ever really hear about migration in the big flash points that get the most Western media coverage -- the US/ Mexico border, the EU borders etc. Just watched the Superflex interview. Thoughtful, fascinating post, as always. Thanks!