A dialogue between Enoch Powell and the ‘Others’
Words have power. Through words we tell our stories, and the stories of ‘others’. Sometimes the words used to express different experiences have striking similarities.
The film installation ‘Here and Now’ presents a fictional dialogue between politician, Enoch Powell, and a number of immigrants from different countries.
Powell (1912–1998) was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West. His “Rivers of Blood” speech, given on 20 April 1968, criticised Commonwealth immigration, and anti-discrimination legislation that had been proposed in the United Kingdom.
This speech was highly controversial and lead to his dismissal from the Shadow Cabinet by Conservative party leader Edward Heath. Five years later, Powell was interviewed for television news, where he spoke of his infamous speech and reaffirmed his political stance.
The voices of immigrants – the so-called ‘Others’ – are often much quieter compared to the voices of politicians in the media. Through acts of ‘othering’ migrants have often been subordinated, identified as ‘different’ and have had to fight to have their stories voiced.
All of the materials used in this film installation have been sourced from news clips dating from the 1960s and 1970s. The appropriated footage has been dramatically juxtaposed, composing a new narrative that seeks to re-position the balance of power and re-present stories of migration with a focus on the voices, experiences and perspectives of migrants.
For the University of Leicester
100 Stories of Migration
On behalf of Duncan McCauley, exhibition designers
Editing: Stefan Bünnig