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Asmat and The Great Wall

November film programme



Watch two films co-presented with the London Migration Film Festival this November. Asmat – Names (Italy, 2015) by Dagmawi Yimer and The Great Wall (2015) by Tadhg O’Sullivan screen this November in The Living Room (Al-Madafeh) space in the exhibition Stateless Heritage by DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti.

Asmat – Names (2015, 18mins) is an experimental short film which commemorates victims of the Mediterranean. The film moves between filmed underwater scenes and animated sequences. Its poetic narration echoes the names of people who lost their lives off the coast of Lampedusa on October 3, 2013, trying to reach Europe. The meanings of these names signified hope, dreams and beliefs such as Selam (peace) or Tesfaye (My hope). Yimar suggests “if we can understand why and how these names fell so far away from their meaning, we might be able to transmit an endless message to our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.”

The Great Wall (Ireland 2015, 71mins) is a documentary that investigates the barriers erected by E.U. member states using concrete, wire, and electronic surveillance against entry by people from outside Europe. Narrated using Franz Kafka’s short story “The Building of the Great Wall of China,” the film flows from the Mediterranean coast inward to metropolitan seats of power, offering political insight through the juxtaposition of modern imperial authority and desperate migrant poverty, at a moment when the migrant crisis in Europe intensified.

Dagmawi Yimer was born in Addis Ababa. He left after the 2005 post-election unrest in which hundreds of young people were killed and put in jail. After a long journey he came ashore on Lampedusa on 30 July 2006. He is co-author and director of films including award-winning documentary Come un uomo sulla terra (Like a man on earth) (2008). He is co-founder of the Archivio delle Memorie Migranti (Migrant Memory Archive) and teaches at the Cinema and Migration Laboratory, University of Venice. More about Dagmawi Yimer 

Tadhg O’Sullivan is a filmmaker, editor, sound designer and sound recordist based in Carlow, Ireland. His work has been screened at FiD Marseille, MOMA Doc Fortnight, CPH:DOX, RIDM Montreal, Dokufest Kosovo, New Horizons Wroclaw and other festivals. His projects have been regularly supported by the Irish Film Board and the Arts Council of Ireland. He is University College Cork Film Artist in Residence for 2021.

The London Migration Film Festival is holding the 6th annual edition from 25 Nov – 1 Dec 2021. The festival uses film and other art forms to challenge the mainstream rhetoric on migration.

Images 1-3: Stills from Asmat – Names (2015). Courtesy of the filmmaker.
Images 4-6: Stills from The Great Wall (2015). Courtesy of the filmmaker.


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