Leicester event to explore human rights issues through film and the Arts

Posted by ew205 at Nov 28, 2017 02:33 PM |
“Broken Chords Can Sing a Little” to take place as part of Leicester’s Human Rights Arts and Film Festival on 5 December

An image from the film can be accessed here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/51arpr3vtmnj2g7/AABgpyJoBjhjhmyCOGD1u_1za?dl=0

As part of the 2017 Leicester Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, an event will be taking place to address the ‘migration crisis’ through the medium of film and the Arts on 5 December.

Organised by Dr Maria Rovisco from the University of Leicester’s Department of Media and Communication, the event will be focused around Newcastle- based visual artist and filmmaker Isabel Lima’s film Broken Chords Can Sing a Little – Episode 1: The Birds.

Taking place at Leicester’s Upstairs at the Western pub and theatre, the event starts at 6.30pm with a film screening followed by an open discussion, where the panellists and the audience will be invited to respond to the concerns raised by the film.

The film addresses the ‘migration crisis’ in general and the experience of displacement by Middlesbrough-based asylum seekers and refugees in particular. It explores the feelings, memories, anxieties, and aspirations of these groups against the backdrop of relevant governmental policies, news and public debates.

The work brings Lima’s interviews with asylum seekers and refugees, charity workers and politicians together with found footage such as the television coverage of the Home Affairs Committee inquiry into the migration crisis.

It also includes scenes inspired by Aristophanes’ classical theatrical comedy "The Birds", acted by asylum seekers and refugees, who wear bird masks to conceal their identities. The scenes take place in sites as varied as the Transporter Bridge, a Kurdish café and Middlesbrough’s Home Office reporting centre.

For the event, panellists Isabel Lima, Dr Pierre Monforte, Colleen Molloy, and Dr Maria Rovisco will then give presentations and have conversation around the questions: Are migrant deaths and human rights violations being ignored? What can film and, more generally, the arts, do to influence the public debate on asylum and migration in the European context? Can film provide a platform for discussing the so-called ‘migration crisis’?

The discussion and panel will be chaired by Chino Cabon, Chief Executive Officer of the Greenwich Inclusion Project.

The event is organised in association with the Leicester Migration Network,  which is based at the University of Leicester and brings together migration scholars, activists, and people affected by issues around migration.

Event organiser and panellist Dr Maria Rovisco said: “We have put together this panel to generate much needed debate about artistic responses to the so-called European migration crisis. EU leaders have been more concerned with managing and reducing the numbers of people arriving in Europe, rather than with saving lives and protecting the human rights of people seeking refuge in Europe.

“Against this grim backdrop, artists and activists are responding to the plight of these people with a range of artistic interventions and initiatives of solidarity. It is vital to shed light on what some of these initiatives and artistic productions have achieved and show how they might shift the public debate on asylum and migration”.

Now in its fourth consecutive year, the Leicester Human Rights Arts and Film Festival runs from 4 December through to 10 December every year. It features performances, music, poetry, talks, discussion forums as well as art and film concerning human rights issues.

Festival organiser Ambrose Musiyiwa said: “The Festival aims to explore human rights issues through film and The Arts, and to give people a platform through which to engage with human rights issues at home and abroad.

“The festival also aims to draw attention to International Human Rights Day which is celebrated annually, across the world, on December 10.”

The event is free and open to all but places are limited. Booking is therefore required and can be done through Upstairs at The Western http://www.upstairsatthewestern.com/shows/birds/

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