In Search of Hope

What hope can you find when everything is fucked?

This is a film project that charts my journey in search of hope during COVID-19.

At the end of February 2020, I left France after a year of learning with climate activists and civic groups, overwhelmed with pessimism and despair. I was prepared to quit the system and find an eco-village to spend the rest of my days before one big disaster wipes us all out.

Prior to that, I spent years researching systems change and regeneration (Theory U, Sacred Economy, post-capitalism, UBI etc), which led me to switch from fashion to socially engaged arts practice and then move from the UK to France (a year of work at an NGO). At the end of the year, I accepted our impending doom and genuinely believed that the only way forward out of this mess is if we all quit cities to live in eco-villages. 

I left for North America in search of innovative practices. It was my last bit of hope in finding something innovative that we can do in cities within this system. And then COVID hit. I ended up staying in Canada a lot longer than expected amidst a whole lot of uncertainty and flight cancellations. I volunteered at people’s homes, was almost homeless at points, worked on organic farms, learned about permaculture, regenerative and restorative agriculture, change networks, co-ops, social innovation networks and various change making initiatives. In July I started a podcast documenting all these interesting conversations with people I met. This is an experimental film with edited snippets of the podcast recordings along with my narrative of this journey. 

It is about this crazy journey during COVID-19, about my search for hope but more importantly, about all these change making initiatives and actions people are taking all over the world. This is a call for action, but also an offering of various responses to our collective search for hope. This film is meant to inspire, empower and rejuvenate all those who care and to collectively take action. 

Film Festivals:

Ecocine – Festival Internacional de Cinema Ambiental e Direitos [Offical Selection]

https://ecocine.eco.br

SEA X SEA: Southeast Asia X Seattle Film Festival [Offical Selection]

Film International Storical & Short Film Festival [Offical Selection]

The Lift-Off Sessions [Offical Selection]

First-Time Filmmaker Sessions [Offical Selection]

Ecocine Film Festival

My short film In Search of Hope made it into the official selection of the Ecocine Festival in Brazil!

It will be available for viewing from 30th March to 28th April.

In Search of Hope charts my journey in 2020, leaving Europe and digesting the experience working with minors who had been displaced and seeking asylum, the precarity of their situation and the sadness of what they had to go through. 

It’s a young person’s journey in search of hope, in a world that holds a lot of racial oppression, gender violence, structural inequalities and despair in view of the climate crisis. 

This film is a time capsule of my reflections in such chaotic time and a snapshot of the conversations I’ve been having with changemakers around the world. 

To watch the Ecocine Festival 2021 program access https://taoplay.com.br/cadastre-se

Wayfinding

Commissioned short film for Social Innovation Exchange.

‘Wayfinding’ is a response to the sounds of chaos offered by participants of Tuning 1 during Covid-19 and reflects the journey of sense making as we find our way through this chaos. This short film was built upon the gifts of fellow artists in this residency as well as SIX’s JoSoKe in the form of audio recordings and video snippets of our lives across continents.


There were two wearable art pieces worn during the performance that weaved through the film. One was a piece I made entirely out of discarded zips and the other a headpiece made in 2015 as a critique of how everyone seemed to be cocooned in social media. I found that  ironic yet relevant now as it is a headpiece we cannot necessarily take off even if we want to. Both wearable art pieces become metaphorical representations of our internal and external struggles as we collectively way find towards hopeful futures. 


Below are links to videos of the wearable art pieces:
Emancipation (Zip piece)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaMZRccVPbA&list=PL5Sx3YtkLxpdmeeZllzoGh6MJVMrSqvDj&index=6
Our Future X Technology (Cocooned in Social Media) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHdyUF3Lzoo&list=PL5Sx3YtkLxpdmeeZllzoGh6MJVMrSqvDj&index=10 10

The Other Side: Menon’s father – Book Keeper

After 5 years of incubation, I am finally publishing the first video of my docu-series! The Other Side was born after many, many conversations. It started off with me wanting to understand the violence of the Syrian war, my questioning of humanity, my research into the war in my family history and then many, many uncomfortable and emotional conversations I have had with my Japanese friends that got me to uncover various perspectives to the Japanese Occupation. I will spend the year travelling to interview and record various stories (do let me know if there is anyone you know who would like to share his or her account). This docu-series is not meant to provide a singular perspective but rather, all the other sides that exist as it is my attempt to understand the human behind each decision and experience. Here’s the first of the series, just in time to welcome 2020 (Yes! I made it before end of January!) Please help to share it if you liked it! A BIG, BIG, thank you to Menon for agreeing to do this interview and for checking all the edits before it’s published. Also, my deepest appreciation towards his mother, Mdm K.P.Madhavi Klitty, for wanting to take part in it even though she ended up too ill that day to be able to do the interview. Many thanks, Fié x

Green Spring

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Password: greenspringwomen
We seek to start conversations on social and political issues surrounding gender inequality, sexism and violence against women. Rape, Donald Trump’s sexism, anti abortion laws, forced marriage in India…
Feminism should not be labelled as unattractive. It is about equality. The fight that the Suffragettes and so many fought before us, why are we still fighting for something so basic? This conversation requires the participation of men as much as women. The responsibility to act and create change is not just on women.
Collaboration with Riley Burks and Nina Pan.

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Hello all, here’s a video I’d really like to show everyone. I struggled a lot over the past 4 years about my role as an artist and what kind of impact I can possibly create with my work. Making of this video made me realise how my skills and resources can be used positively to give someone’s voice a platform to be heard. This will be shown in the exhibition at Central Saint Martins but I’m hoping to do a last push of publicity to encourage you all to come and join in my conversation zone to have a discussion about this.

Abdulhay and I met in May 2018 for a project in which we were both participants. On the first evening, we talked about war and violence and he shared with me his experiences. I thought about it for a few nights and offered:

“I have the filmmaking tools and skills, if there’s anything you’d like to say to the audience on British soil, let’s make a film.”

If he hadn’t told me he was from Syria I would not have known. In the making of the film I wanted to portray him in a way that was true and honest to how he presented himself to me. I wanted to show him as a person, with his own unique personality, character and love for his family, not that different from the rest of us.

In my subsequent research (many thanks to Mario Nicholas Hamad who’s doing a PHD on this war), I realised how severe the situation is and I am sad that this is all that I can do. Targeted military intervention is necessary to stop Assad’s airstrikes from killing more civilians. But for the British government to make that decision to get involved, public opinion is important. I hope this video provokes some thought and encourages more engagement in this issue.

Please, give some time and attention to this.

Thank you for reading, please help to share it!