Film screening: The People behind the Scenes

Directed by Elsa Gomis, University of East Anglia
Convenor: Thomas Lacroix, MFO

Film screening followed by a discussion with:
Ruben Adersson, Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford,
Robin Wilson, Keble College

When asked in July 2015 about migrants trying to reach Britain through Calais, former British Prime Minister David Cameron described a ‘swarm of people crossing the Mediterranean in search of a better life’. These words, condemned by his opponents who saw them as dehumanizing language, reflect the content of the campaign that led to Brexit. They are imbued with images that colour the Western imagination of migration.
This film questions these images by showing the collective unconscious of maritime migration. Borrowing from visual anthropology it does not only consider man as apolitical animal, but as a homo pictor: a being who shapes images, who produces images and who understands the world in images.

Images do more than reflect us, they tell about our relationship with others.
I, who was born on one side of the Mediterranean, wonder… what knowledge do I have of you, who
comes from the other side?
If images contribute to our knowledge of the other, what do our images say about you?
What do our images say about us?
I, whose family has experienced exile, want to understand these images that define those
who come to us.
To unravel their mystery I go to an island
where images are made.