Our project consists in making a documentary fiction film about the experiences of African migrants in their attempt to reach Europe. We are a group of people who live in (and try to build bridges between) Morocco and Spain. We are committed to the struggle for freedom of movement. Our work focuses on the Morocco-Spain border. Thus, our intention with this film is to raise awareness and to create and bring visibility to new narratives about migration and migrants.
The title, Norda, refers to a symbolic place built between the violence of borders and migrant resistance. This land, named by Césaire Tatchiwo, a member of La Barraca, is an imaginary island located in a vague place between Africa and Europe. This symbolic and imaginary geography seeks to explore in depth and vibilise the concrete realities of the border. Norda is a way of talking about the border beyond the mere delimitation of nation states. In this way, fiction becomes a device for dismantling racist discourses that deny the agency of the Adventurers as creators of new forms of communal life and spaces of politicisation and resistance.
Mainstream images of migrants generally portray them as passive, needy and/or violent subjects. This proposal seeks to build, through creative collaborative processes, other types of narratives based on the self-expression of the adventurers. Norda is a proposal to build meeting spaces based on an initial script developed by Yves Césaire Tatchiwo, a Cameroonian adventurer and filmmaker. Based on this script, a first workshop with self-actors and self-actresses was held in Rabat. The script builds a flexible intervention space where the self-actors and self-actresses gave life to their own characters, thus collaborating in the development of the script. Here you can see a video of the workshop:
Therefore, our main activity would be the shooting of a film in which the process is just as important as the result. In order to be able to carry this crucial task, we need your collaboration, so that we can develop this project properly and pay the self-actors who participate in it.
Description of the project. Main features, strengths and differentials.
Our objectives are:
(1) To make a feature film collectively exploring new forms of narrative and artistic research to counter stereotypical images of migration and migrants.
We believe that artistic creation is a radically political gesture because it creates new codes, imaginaries and possibilities for representation, aesthetics and narratives. The arts here are a dialogue and a calling into question: a way of creating gaps and generating spaces of collective, experimental, and radical creation. In order to achieve this objective, we propose various training activities in performance and audiovisual tools that will help us to carry out the shooting and editing of the film.
(2) To generate alternative sources of information vis-à-vis traditional media.
The creation of new codes is necessary, as most of the current ones serve mainly economic and/or political interests, showing only tragic events and never mentioning the actual life experience of migrants. Despite the existence of critical voices, there is a lack of narratives built together with migrants through processes of encounter rather than of imposition. We want to create a space for dialogic learning between activists from different backgrounds: a space to generate experimental forms of mapping, narration, creation and thinking in relation to borders. This objective is meant to help us make these other narratives of migration and migrants visible.
(3) To build spaces of relationship and community that can be sustained over time.
For us, it is essential to create common spaces around the Southern Border where care, learning and active listening are the priorities. The forms of violence, humiliation, and abuse of power that occur in border areas go beyond anything we can imagine. In this brutal context, the need arises to establish livable spaces where communal living and care can flourish. With this objective in mind, the aim is to generate spaces for collective expression that remain over time and function as alternative means of communication and diffusion.
Why this is important
This project aims to generate a feature-length film on the situation of migrant transits and struggles in the Southern Border of Europe, through a process of construction of collective experiences and thought. It is aimed at society as a whole, though initially the film will be available in French with Spanish and English subtitles. We think that it will particularly appeal to activists, artists and migrants, as we seek to work on the intersection between the three. Ultimately, we seek a process of social transformation through the creation of images that look out from unusual places.
La Barraca Transfronteriza is a cultural association formed by a self-managed group of audiovisual artists, researchers and activists, with the aim of creating channels of communication across the border through collaborative audiovisual practices.
The Island of Norda is also the place where the fictional plot of "Les Aventuriers du Désert", our previous film that skirts the border between documentary and fiction, was developed. It was presented in 2017 at the TanjaZoom Social Film Festival in Tangier (Morocco), awarded the Finalist Prize at Suroscopia 2018, and presented in 2020 at the XIII Muestra Internacional de Cine Africano de Argentina: Espejos y espejismos.
We have recorded, edited, screened and connected with people in many cities in Morocco and Spain. Throughout Morocco we have mainly met Adventurers from other African countries in transit to Europe: musical artists, scriptwriters and above all people with narratives and imaginaries that dismantle borders. Images and, moreover, the creation of images have become daily aspects of communication which inform our common language. In between shootings and screenings, people arrive with documentary, fictional, musical stories; and we work together on these ideas, with whatever means we have, for as long as we can.
La Barraca is also nomadic, and thus built along the way.
We started up on 4 February 2017, during the IV March to Tarajal (Ceuta), in protest against the impunity of the Guardia Civil agents who shot and killed 15 migrants. Since then we have worked and established alliances, provisional and lasting, in different camps, forests, neighbourhoods and migrant communities.
La Barraca is ultimately an audiovisual tool, an independent communication channel and a catalyst of experiences. We want to resist a single dominant narrative and create heterogeneous narratives that slip through the gaps in the fence and entangle us from both sides, destabilising its structures.