Seeing I: The Other, as part of the European Media Art Platforms, Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union

Culminating an online residency with the European Media Art Platforms program at Werkleitz, as part of the Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union, we screened the 360 degree lives of three people from around the world, in first person point of view.

Focusing on real-life lives that are neither sensational, nor a spectacle, Seeing I: The Other explores migration in 2020/21; how different cultures, societies, and languages affects one’s sense of self, and - especially during the coronavirus pandemic - the ability to share in one’s experience and world, only through digital technologies.

Without too much interference to their daily routine, we chose three males who are similarly aged to Farid to:

• Wear the pair of glasses/recorder from the moment they wake up, to the moment they go to sleep.

• To not remove the recorder, or switch the recorder off for the entirety of that day, unless they feel unsafe.

• To be sociable, and to not use their phone or computer as much as possible.

• Slightly focus on their experience as a migrant (where relevant), and any political issues that are personal to them.

Ibrahima (36), an asylum seeker from West Africa now living in north east England.

Screened on 4th December 2020

In 2003, Ibrahima moved to the North East of the UK to avoid war, where he was granted indefinite right to remain by the UK government. In 2008 he had his indefinite right to remain status revoked. In 2015, Ibrahima had his indefinite right to remain re-instated by the Home Office; However, he was not given back his passport or national insurance number, instead being legally required to report to the immigration office every week. For the last 12 years, Ibrahima has been unable to work, leave the UK, or see his children.

Filip (27), born in Bosnia, now lives and works in Maribor, Slovenia.

Screened on 14th January 2021

Filip, 27, born in Bosnia, now lives and works at an art gallery in Maribor, Slovenia.

Born in 1993 during the Bosnian War, Filip moved to Prague in 2012 to study Liberal Arts and Humanities. After graduating in 2016, Filip moved back to Bosnia because his visa expired and was unable to find a job. In 2017, Filip received a full scholarship to study in Budapest at the Central European University.

After graduating in 2019, Filip moved to Maribor, Slovenia, where his girlfriend lives, as part of a three month Internship Support Programme. Filip stayed in Maribor for another 10 months, as part of the European Solidarity Corps programme. When his visa expired, Filip and his girlfriend signed up for co-habitation, granting him a visa to continue his relationship with his partner.

After nine years, more than 15 visa applications, an incredible amount of bureaucracy, money, and time, Filip is now permitted to stay in Slovenia with his long-term girlfriend for the next 23 months.

Graham, 34, Lives in Brixton, South London.

Screened on 27th February 2021

Graham has been living in ‘sheltered accommodation’ for the last 9 months and unable to legally work.

A trainee electrician, in March 2020, Graham was sectioned for erratic behaviour. Released after two weeks as a result of a legal challenge to wrongful detainment, Graham was ordered to be placed in sheltered housing for two years. Unable to work until he has an assessment stating he is fit to work, he has been forced onto Universal Credit indefinitely. It has been 11 months since Graham was initially sectioned and forced to stop working, and he is still awaiting a date for his next assessment.

We will constantly be adding to this list, so please follow us on Twitter to get updates on new lives, or if you’re interested in recording your life.

European Media Arts Residency Exchange Team

Mark Farid Artist and Producer

Peter Zorn Producer

Marcie K. Jost Producer

Development of a Commercially Bought Recorder

Orange Customisation of commercial pair of glasses/recorder.