When I spoke in Hamburg at a modern language conference the other day, I was asked afterwards whether I knew of any short films to do with immigration to the UK. After a little research, I found these two that I thought I’d share.
Juliane by Mosaic films is part of a series of animated shorts called Seeking Refuge that offers insights into the lives of five young refugees who have sought asylum in the UK. They were screened as part of Refugee Week by BBC2 in 2012. In this film Juliane tells of growing up in an orphanage in Zimbabwe, how she was reunited with her mother, and how they were eventually resettled in Britain.
The second On Migration is a short historical documentary by Asheq Akhtar. Accounts by his parents provide an insight into how a migrant from Bangladesh experiences the UK and how those experiences affect their personal relationships as well as the world around them.
I hope they prove useful.
On 24 March The Guardian devoted a great deal of its Opinion pages to the topic of immigration. Jonathan Freedland, the executive editor for the Opinion pages, wrote a short introduction to the topic. He points out that discussions about immigration often leave out the voices of the immigrants themselves. So, The Guardian dedicated a section to them; “Immigrants in their own words: 100 stories“, in which immigrants living in the UK have told their own stories.
I’ve selected a few for you in advance, but they are all well worth reading and shed light on how diverse Britain is becoming:
“I arrived at Gatwick in June 2002 when the World Cup was in full swing”
“I am Bekele Woyecha”
“My first year was exceptionally cold”
“I remember being struck at how quiet it was on the first day”
“Everything was strangely calm”
“And yet living here is toxic, somehow.”
“Life could not be much better”
“As an immigrant, people don’t recognise your skills or your qualifications.”
“I found many aspects of British society odd”
Which story did you find the most insightful?