Written and Directed by Arwa Aburawa and Turab Shah
Music and Sound Design by Sami El-Enany
Commissioned by the Brent Biennial 2022
Informed by interviews with first-generation migrants, this short film weaves together the lives of multiple characters as they confront inherited ideas of belonging.
From the severed connection to a motherland following the death of a parent, to the generational experience of displacement, or the feeling of nostalgia for a place and time forever out of reach, I Carry It With Me Everywhere explores how migration results in moments of rupture from which new understandings of home and belonging may emerge.
The UK government’s antagonistic relationship with migrant communities forms the quietly simmering backdrop of the film, as communities are forced to come to terms with the reality that not everyone can find safety and belonging in the nation state. This reality was most recently demonstrated by the Windrush scandal, as well as the new proposals brought forward by the Nationality and Borders Act, through which the government plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, or to strip non-white British people of their citizenship without warning.
Shot in black and white, the film seeks to convey the timeless and ongoing search for answers in response to the experience of these hostile environments, which are familiar to many migrant communities in the UK. In the process, they seek to subvert the idea that belonging is an inherently positive experience. What if a moment of belonging here, in the UK, is also a moment of losing belonging somewhere else? What if that shift also requires giving up a more rooted space of belonging for a precarious one, one that is always at risk of being taken away? The film evokes this deep sense of loss, whilst also honouring what people continually manage to build and create in resistance.