For Hong Kong raised, London based, director Nicolee Etsin there is a transparent barrier between the underrepresented communities - especially the ethnically and racially marginalised -and the society that stands ‘above’ them. Through the emotional, poignant sound of ‘Birds’, Etsin wanted to explore the inexplicable emotions within these underrepresented communities, using quotidian moments to capture intimate portraits of their experiences and relationships as ‘outsiders’ in London.
In this moving vignette of interrelated characters migrating and crossing paths. The characters are isolated to the world around them, they exist in the plane separate to their surroundings in search of love, escape and meaning in the city of London. The roads are not defined and their destinations are not visible. In a big city like London, Etsin’s intrigue lies in the relationships between people that seem to be very close, and yet the psychological distance that is actually very far.
Etsin "Palindrome and I started discussing our interest in collaborating about a year ago but we didn't start production until earlier this year.
‘Fate, the destiny of people lives getting tangled in time and space, as well as the reflection of our actions in others' lives, are the core concepts behind Palindrome's album. I’ve also always been interested in images and narratives that are driven by multi-characters, where everyone in this world is or plays a protagonist. Their lives interweave and they cross paths. They may seem random, but they’re like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, providing a spectrum of perspectives and voices to a situation or moments, in turn it allowing more room for understanding, interpretation, and imagination. So Birds provided this great opportunity for me to explore this concept though a multi-character speculation.
I think we are all interconnected in some way or another. Through physical encounters and intangible experiences. Subconsciously or consciously. They could be loose or brief but still interconnected. And this idea…I find intriguing and romantic. The fractured but unified structure of the video is a reflection of this which occasionally meanders. It’s linear but also not necessarily chronological.
Our budget for this project was extremely limited, as both the Artists and I are independent so we essentially self-funded this MV. We used resources available at our doors - the video was shot right next to where I live, in a post-lockdown scenery in Surrey Quays, South East London, across Surrey Quays Road, Green Dockland and Bascule Bridge. Micheal, the producer and I, pulled our strings, had our talented friends come together to help create this piece. All of the casting was done through instagram, again just really grateful to have met so many wonderful new people who did this out of love!"