Finding Spaces to Belong
"Finding Spaces to Belong" is an hour-long ethnographic documentary film that delves into the lives of four deaf migrants navigating their way in London. From Lenka, a Czech au pair keen on improving her English, to Samba, who was brought over from Sierra Leone at 13 for better education opportunities; from Luis, who traveled from Guatemala in search of academic avenues, to Sana, who journeyed from Mumbai to start a life with her newlywed husband. Each has embarked on a unique journey to the city, marked not only by personal aspirations but also by encounters with racism, xenophobia, and homophobia. These challenges, alongside their individual tales, weave a rich tapestry of the quest for spaces where they genuinely feel "at home"—be it in physical locations or within new relationships. Beginning in April 2019, the film captured their stories. However, events like COVID-19 and Brexit shifted their perspectives. By April 2023, when we revisited them, their notions of belonging had evolved. The film underscores that "belonging" isn't a fixed destination, but a journey perpetually in flux. As each protagonist finds solace in diverse settings, from churches and local eateries to groups of queer friends and pubs, their understanding of "home" is fluid, ever shaped by their life experiences and the dynamic social and political landscapes they navigate.