At Film Base in Dublin's Temple Bar, Mary Cunningham, Director of the National Youth Council of Ireland officially launched Making Ireland Home, a film exploring the experiences of young immigrants produced by the Migrant Rights Center Ireland.
According to Mary, "Making Ireland Home highlights important issues not only for youth workers and youth work organisations but for all of Irish society. It reminds us that in a multicultural Ireland young people have different experiences of growing up in this country. It also reminds us of how powerful and insightful the voices of young people can be in offering hope, ideas and solutions that need to be heard."
The film, produced by eleven immigrants between the ages of 18 and 25 from MRCI's mPower Youth Project, reveals experiences of isolation, racism, barriers in education and in accessing residency and citizenship whilst exploring identity and sharing hopes for the future.
Some statements by young immigrants in the film:
"It's kind of difficult to know my place. Am I equal or am I an outsider?"
"I kind of just start hating myself and wished I was white."
"You have to establish your rights at every point of the ladder."
"I think Ireland is changing and it's going to be a new Ireland and I am part of that."
One of the young film makers, Nally Silva, originally from Brazil now in 1st year nursing in UCC said, "By getting involved in the film I found that I wasn't alone and that other young people shared similar experiences of coming to Ireland. This film captures our hopes, dreams and aspirations for a future we all see in Ireland."
Mpower, a migrant youth empowerment project initiated by MRCI, brought young people together to share their stories and experiences of making Ireland home, through film. These stories, shared with humour and honesty give insight into some of the experiences and problems encountered by young immigrants growing up in Ireland. What all of these dynamic and inspiring young people share in common is that all were born outside of Ireland and faced similar challenges in making Ireland their new home. The film captures their hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future, a future they all see in Ireland.
- Through a series of one to one interviews and the use of creative film making techniques eleven young migrants share their stories about making Ireland home
- The film, just under twenty minutes long, shares insights from a young person’s perspective on themes such as identity, diversity and belonging. It also raises awareness of problems and challenges faced by young immigrants growing up in Ireland such as racism, difficulties accessing third level and barriers to permanent residency and citizenship
- The film is an accessible and contemporary tool for exploring important issues such as racism and equality with young people in an informal and creative way. It could be used to generate discussion and raise awareness as part of a workshop on racism and diversity. It lends itself to participative events such as a film night and could also help generate ideas about film making on topics young people feel strongly about.
More information is available at the MRCI Website