So absolutely delighted to announce that The Open Society Foundations have agreed to fund the shortfall we were looking for to complete 'Working title - Eight Days a Week'. Having secured a grant from them last year, their generosity, in this time of crisis and so much need, has now fully enabled our project to reach fruition and we have their hundred percent backing. The film by Anna Konik is a poetic, reflective and immersive exploration of hope and belonging, themes that resonate now more than ever. The focus is on seven extraordinary people who are transforming and being transformed by higher education while they fight to remain in the UK.
These students from Birkbeck's Compass Project, all forced migrants, have been working with Anna, Professor Leslie Topp and myself for over a year now to bring this project to fruition. We hope the resulting collaborative film essay will reframe discourse, promote intercultural dialogue and reshape public perception to affect social change. It is aimed at the university sector, migrants and refugees and the general public.
The film brings together the students' stories of exile and immigration. Memories of home interact with images of London and struggles to create a new life. The challenges and liberation represented by their journeys through university are woven throughout.
Anna is now hard at work on post-production, working with the students remotely from her home base in Poland, editing and interweaving animated images where, in the absence of photographs, themes of home and belonging have been explored by the students.
The film will premiere at the ICA in London next year and be part of an ambitious public engagement program. We deeply hope that as many of the events and screenings will be, by then, in person, but we shall rise to every challenge and move through any borders or obstacles. These free and brave spirits - may your stories and inspirations know no limits!
Watch this space....