Everything Worthwhile is Done with Other People (2023) takes up the conversations, experiences and freedom dreams of a group of women affected by the carceral state as encountered through the UK government’s hostile environment policy and prison system. This work began as a series of workshops led through Hibiscus Initiatives framed around questions of criminality, innocence and citizenship, perceived through the lens of gender, race and class. The group is made up of women from South Africa, Ghana, Jamaica, Albania, Nigeria and Iraq. Through these sessions the technical facets of filmmaking were deconstructed, through theatre games and improvisation, camera and sound recording, storytelling and testimony. Central to this process of congregating as a group was sharing experiences, offering mutual support, advice and tactics to address the interminable limbo of unanswered applications for leave to remain or appeal for asylum, alongside applications for housing or urgent medical care, or the need to reconstruct some semblance of stability after the traumatic impact of a detention or prison sentence.
Over the course of several years our ambitions to create a collectively authored film were held and nurtured through many shared meals, blossoming friendships and periodic trips to the beach. As the process of gathering drew to a close, a polyvocal hybrid film emerged, offering a small glimpse into a group’s attempt to connect and form against punitive contexts that strive to diminish, reduce and disappear. The work articulates how in spite of these conditions, solidarity and love can, and does, prevail.
Mariame Kaba,“Eve L. Ewing, Everything Worthwhile Is Done With Other People”, ADI Magazine (Fall 2019)