We live in an age of migration. Driven by political and military conflicts, the pressures and possibilities of increasingly globalised economies, climate change and the desire for a better life, more people than ever move and live across borders. These are diverse trajectories; each journey has its own story and each story its own journey, traversing different landscapes and carrying with it its own past.
Through a programme of screenings and events, Crossings explores the stories of modern- day migration and reflects on cinema’s potential to interrogate the damaging ways in which migration is often framed. Including a variety of documentary and fiction features, the programme engages with transnational crossings from the last five decades through different forms of aesthetically innovative storytelling.
In today’s political debates and headlines, the plurality, complexity and often painful human reality of these crossings are often obscured - as are the histories of migration that have long shaped the nation. Discussions frequently return to the same polarised terms of us and them, home and abroad; to the same labels - refugee, asylum seeker, migrant - without reference to the lives behind these words. In the contemporary climate, the need to tell stories beyond this narrow frame is ever more pressing, as well as the need to ask: what does it mean to live across borders, and to represent these lives today? What new cinematic languages and tools do we need to tell these stories?
Crossings brings together leading commentators, critics and contributors from across various cultural and political contexts to create a rigorous yet diverse platform for discussion to explore migration from both global and local perspectives. Engaging with ethical and political questions raised by representing these narratives on screen, the season aims to open space for dialogue at a time when this is more urgent than ever.
Crossings: Stories of Migration is an ICA-led UK-wide film and events programme supported by the BFI using National Lottery funding,
in partnership with the Goethe-Institut
and the School of Film & Television, Falmouth University
The programme launches at the ICA on the 15th June 2017.