We have started a new and fascinating project dealing with the river gypsies ( Bede people) of Bangladesh. We have filmed this marginalised and stigmatised group in urban centers and remote parts of Bangladesh. Our thanks go to Mr AKM Maksud of Grambangla Unnayan Committee and to Father Renato Rosso for the insights we received.
A brief trip to South Africa. We interviewed several people – amongst them Ahmed Kathrada who spent 26 years in prison. With Marikana in the background, this was a trip where we encountered much disillusionment amongst all and sundry. We also created a mural of Ruth First in Soweto.
After the fall of the dictator, Gaddafi, Libya is fast transforming itself. However what will emerge is still uncertain. As part of our “A Peculiar European Journey” doc, we wanted to ask what would happen to migrants and their outstanding issues under the new dispensation. We visited migrant detention camps, talked to ministry officials and organisations such as the IOM and UNHCR. We came away concerned, very concerned…We are grateful for the very frank and open discussions with camp commanders and ministry officials. And we are particularly grateful to all the detainees who spoke to us.
Saw the Six Oranges team in Sicily, Lampedusa and Malta. We were filming for our doc on Italian immigration. Incredibly, the day after our arrival in Lampedusa we saw boat landings from Libya. They came in a very precarious rubber craft which set sail from Libya packed with migrants. The next day we interviewed fishermen who had rescued migrants from the sea the night before. In Malta we filmed in Safi detention centre where unexpectedly we came across Bangladeshi workers. After detention for many months, indeed upto 18 months, detainees are released into open camps. We filmed in Hal Far open camp. We also talked to interior Minister Bonnici and the Jesuit Refugee Service.
This is a review of our activities in 2011. This year we filmed in France, Poland, Italy and the USA. Thank you to all our interviewees for taking the time to share your stories and expressing your views. In 2011, we were fortunate to have the assistance of ( in chronological order) Sharon Ashbourn, Tabby Booth and Angelica Riccardi. Without their help our programme of work would have been much less interesting. Thanks also to Luz Salcedo who was our editor. Michael RJ Rushmore, aka Vandalog, also worked on a project with us ( watch this space…!) Click the image to be taken to the site.
Our short film “Street Art Collides with Reality” is part of the Official Selection for the 2011 Rushes Soho Shorts film festival. The film shows three street artists – Ben Slow, Joseph Loughborough and Joe Deane – painting in the east end of London. Their painting of a destitute woman and child ( Ma o Shishu) is sadly echoed by what we discover behind the facade of the building….The film will be screened at the ICA on 23rd July 2011.
We are pleased that Tres Tristes Tigres will be screened at the East End Film Festival in London in April/May 2011. The award-winning short film about migrant workers in Dubai has been screened in many festivals throughout the world. GO HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION. UPDATE: Tres Tristes Tigres was awarded the SHORT FILM AUDIENCE AWARD.
2010 was a challenging year with a variety of projects involving trips to Bangladesh, South Africa , France and Brazil. We have made a summary page of our activities HERE. We also changed offices three times and we are now happily ensconced ( for the time being!) in Hanbury Street, off Brick Lane. Come and visit!
Six Oranges have completed a brief tour of South Africa accompanying the former head of the Special committee against Apartheid and UN Assistant Secretary General, E S Reddy to Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. For decades, Mr Reddy was at the forefront of the anti-apartheid struggle organising UN and international anti-apartheid activity and solidarity with the liberation movements. Mr Reddy was honoured by the Gandhi Development Trust with the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace and also by the ANC Lenasia Branch which awarded him the Sol Plaatje Award. We filmed Mr Reddy receiving the awards and meeting with stalwarts of the South African liberation movement. A feature documentary is being planned.
Brazil is conducting the world’s first fully digital national census in order to produce the most comprehensive and accurate survey of a nation. The census will be used to drive through social policies targeted at helping the poor and excluded which have been the centrepiece of President Lula da Silva’s 9 years in power.
Parminder Bahra of Six Oranges was invited to observe the census in operation across the diverse areas and communities that make up Brazil. The trip included a visit to a ‘quilombos’ community who are descendants of fugitive slaves that set up communities in remote areas to avoid recapture many centuries ago. Many of these communities only gained access to basic utilities such as electricity in the last six years.
The trip enabled Parminder to speak to residents of Rocinha, a slum on the edges of Rio, and also senior government ministers and census coordinators. Watch this space for further news and a small video piece showing how Brazil is using digital technology to produce an ‘X-Ray’ of the nation and how this will underpin public policy-making in the future.