Hussina Raja is a British-Kashmiri multidisciplinary artist based between London and Berlin. Raja's film #WeAreHere attempts to capture the artificial, repetitive and dispensable nature of the casting room. The film uses actors, and the anonymous voices speak beyond the individual, becoming one in many who fit into the terrible statistics around diversity, recorded only in 2020.
Raja approached friends on their experiences of feeling/ being disregarded and disposable in the film and TV sector. Raja set out to share a diverse range of voices in order to offer a varied perspective of the industry, but the majority of the experiences shared exposed the same truth: inequality, racism and neglect.
Raja "The inspiration for this short film came about as a result of a call-out for 1-minute short films. I pitched my ideas and it seemed like it was all going ahead until I got 'that email' to say my ideas were great, but I hadn’t been selected. As an actress and artist, I am all too familiar with rejection and the painful gut-wrenching pangs it produces - even after the 100th time.
#WeAreHere is a self-funded DIY short film made with the help and generosity of friends. It is part of a trilogy of video works that form a larger body of work reflecting on the South Asian diaspora.
If making my own work has taught me anything, it has been to take control of the narratives and stories I want to tell. #WeAreHere is a statement and a stance that we exist, and we’re not going anywhere."
Director/Producer/Editor: Hussina Raja @HussinaRaja
DoP: Felix Schmilinsky @FelixSchmilinsky
Cast: Fran Lobo, Ricky Sharma, Zia Ahmed
@FranLobo @RickySharma @ZiaAhmed