Homecoming presents a selection of short works by UK-based artists who reflect on returning to their birthplace while others explore the trials and tribulations of arrival by Britain’s diverse migrant communities. Featuring work by Helena Appio, Inge Blackman, Uyen Luu, Nada Prlja and Alia Syed.
Join Nada Prlja, Alia Syed and Inge Blackman in discussion after the screening.
The Rights: I am Macedonian, Nada Prlja, 2007, 7 min
‘The Rights’ is an ongoing series of video recordings of different boys and girls, originating from countries of the ‘New Europe’. This episode portrays a 9-year-old boy of Macedonian origin, reading a description of the ‘European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom’ from The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. The complexity of the vocabulary and sentence structure and the boy’s inability to comprehend the concepts contained in the text symbolically reflect the impossibility of immigrants to become integrated into the ‘maze-like’ legal systems.
Fatima’s Letter, Alia Syed, UK 1994, 18min
In a letter written in Urdu to a friend, a woman remembers an event which took place in Pakistan. But she peoples her story with the unknown faces she sees in London’s underground system. ‘Being unhappy in London, you remember other places. When travelling on the East London line or visiting Whitechapel, I would encounter smells that reminded me of India or Pakistan.’ Alia Syed 2001
A Portrait of Mr. Pink, Helena Appio, 1998, 15 min
Seventy-three-year-old Mr Pink is a retired refuse collector who came to Britain from Jamaica in the fifties. He lives alone in a ramshackle, but an extraordinary house in a South East London suburb. Inspired by a mixture of dreams, memories of his childhood and his religion, he adorned his Victorian mansion with his own unique designs. Inside and out, the house is decorated with the intense colours of the Caribbean, combined with other influences such as the stained glass windows in churches. His colourful garden contributes to the overall visual effect.
Legacy, Dir. Inge Blackman, UK, 2006, 17 min, Doc/Drama
Legacy is a film about memories, ghosts and ancestors. It questions the lasting effects 400 years of slavery has had on the traditions and intimate relationships of people of African descent in the Americas. This personal film focuses on the relationship Inge Blackman, the filmmaker, has with her mother and the challenging issues that they have confronted privately together, now projected into a public space.
Pho (Noodle Soup), Uyen Luu, 2000, 23:20 min
Uyen travels to Vietnam for the first time in 20 years to see her country and her people. This film about her search for identity is both visually stunning and profoundly moving as Uyen comes to recognise that her Vietnamese identity has been suppressed by her struggle to integrate into the western world.