We are here.
Cecile Emeke is a dynamic and fresh filmmaker based in London (UK). Her web series Strolling takes a conversational approach in representing young members of the African and Caribbean British community. Located in the ‘about’ section of the series website, she writes:
‘If aliens came to London and determined who was here by the media, they would probably conclude that black british women do not exist, and that black men only come in the form of misogynistic, school age, aspiring rappers or drug dealers who live on impoverished estates. They would never know we were here. We’re invisible’.
Emeke’s concerns with mainstream media in the UK are legitimate; in recent months figures have shown that representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) persons in the creative industry has been on the decline since 2006. Many African/Caribbean British actors and actresses such as Lenny Henry, Sophie Okonedo and David Harewood have come forward and expressed their discontent, adding that many creatives have had to find work across the Atlantic. Pressure groups have formed in response to this very real issue and now it isn’t just the performers asking for room at the table. Cinematographers, producers, directors — people who work in the background of various productions — have also become a part of this spanning discourse. Why is Britain failing to represent its multi-ethnic population? is the question on many peoples lips. Emeke’s Strolling series not only challenges the present conditions within the broadcasting industry but also addresses them. With each episode the viewer is able to hear directly from a Black/Brown British person. Each episode features a single speaker and the opinions and information that is shared by these individuals are not only insightful and important, but also fiercely relevant. The topics that have been covered so far have included the gentrification of London; African and Caribbean communities and their relationship with one another; transnationalism and the difficulties it presents in relation to personal identity; male feminism and Black/Brown male patriarchy; how mental health is approached in Black/Brown communities and finally the side-effects of female contraception — to name a few. This Saturday (20 September) 1PM, Emeke will be screening her latest short film Ackee and Saltfish at Rio Cinema, Dalston. If you are in town and happen to be free: do check it out. However, if for some unfortunate event you miss the screening, do find comfort in the body of work Emeke has already made available online.
Full details concerning the Saturday screening found on ackeeandsaltfish.co.uk
Bye bye x