New Shorts Documentary: Hostile Environments
Wednesday, 19 January 2022
Image: Divided By Law, Katie Davies, Emma Agusita, 2021
Building context from testimony, these films take on an expanded notion of a hostile environment, starting with but going far beyond the context of Theresa May’s policy. All marked by local specificity, from the conditions of migrant detainment in Ireland to the picture postcard of Myanmar amidst a genocide or the challenges of travelling in and out of occupied Palestine. By means of experimental, observational, and poetic lenses, a familiar policy becomes part of a broader attitude shared by states the world over, existing in a variety of spatialised forms that have concrete impacts on those simply trying to survive.
CW: mention of rape and torture
Curated by Miranda Mungai
Divided by Law
Katie Davies, Emma Agusita
Captured just before and during the Coronavirus outbreak and in the lead up to Brexit, 'Divided by Law' bears witness to binational families and couples trying to cope with the UK’s hostile immigration environment. From multiple locations across the world, we hear personal accounts of how the interviewees navigate their way through the UK family immigration regulations, encountering prolonged periods of separation from their partners and families with distressing consequences.
Kevin Brennan, Laurence Durkin
Undertow looks at the Irish system of asylum seeker accommodation ('direct provision') through the stories of three former refugees. The film attempts to contextualise their years of confinement in the system, within Ireland's own complex history of migration and mass incarceration.
Palestinian artists Osama Atwa and Waseem Khair travel to Lebanon for an artistic tour in the refugee camps. Waseem and Osama (coming from an area under Israeli authority and one from under Palestinian authority respectively), both arrive in the refugee camps in Lebanon and encounter its complex history.
Over three weeks, they find themselves in a place that both resembles them, and creates many questions, confusions and contradictions.