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Meteque poster

The short film tackling xenophobia and racism in the UK

Written by Eleanor Harvey
Published date 11 September 2019

Five MA Screen Acting graduates from Drama Centre, Central Saint Martins (CSM), have recently run a very successful Kickstarter campaign, which saw them raise £5,600 to fund their short film, Métèque.

The original script was started by Lyna Dubarry during her final term at Drama Centre last year, and since then she has been joined the rest of the incredibly talented cast; Lou Stassen (Co-Writer/ Actor), Lauren Blackwell (Director), Hana Hzric (Actor) and Oisin Nolan (Actor/ Co-Producer). The film is the story of a young Moroccan woman who, having built a life in the UK, now faces deportation and the impact that has on her sense of belonging.

Here Lauren tells us how the film came about, and why stories like this need to be heard.

Lauren Blackwell

Studying at Drama Centre was one of the most intensive experiences one could have. From the get-go you are challenged, inspired, sometimes a bit confused but ultimately, you are growing. As an artist, as a person, you’re forced to develop as quickly as possible, in order to truly benefit from your time there. On top of an incredible educational experience, I was also lucky to meet incredibly talented people, who I can not only call my friends but my creative partners in our first professional short film, Métèque.

During our masters, Lyna Dubarry, our incredibly talented main actress and writer, came to us with a story that was happening to one of her close friends. We immediately encouraged her to write the script and develop it over the year, ready for us to take on as our first film, post-graduation. Métèque was born. A tender script about a young Moroccan woman, Samia, who is facing deportation after an administrative issue when offered a new job. Her security, comfort and trust in her reality is stripped away and she is faced with the question of “Where do I belong now”? Following themes of displacement, she grapples with her identity in a society that no longer wants her, amongst a group of shifting friends who struggle to understand her experiences and her undeniable desire for a love that she is unable to ask for.

Métèque is borrowed from the Greek word métoikos, which referred to people who lived in Athens, but were not originally from there, and were therefore treated as second class citizens. This nationalist ideology still rings true today, and there have been countless examples of how this is damaging to people across society. Now more than ever, it is necessary to hear the stories of people who have been reduced to statistics and pushed to the back in order to be forgotten.

Métèque is about taking a stand against Brexit, racism and xenophobia, by bringing into the spotlight a story of a real person who has come to this country to find a better life. We believe that the way to remind people of our common humanity and vulnerability is to share stories like these, to highlight the fact that we aren’t that different. We all want to feel safe, feel respected and to live in a society which accepts us as who we are.

We are looking for people who share our values and mindset, and want to join us on this journey.

Quote from the film

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