January 31, 2021

Do We Need To Experience Inequality To Act On It?

Annaliese Broughton

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FilmMia/Me, 2020

Before Mia and her mum came to live with me, I didn’t know anything about deafness or what it meant to be a person seeking asylum.

I have always believed everyone should be treated equally but that was just a passive value. The reality was until it affected me, I didn’t act. Mia/Me is a spoken word and BSL interpreted poem, the story of how three lives became connected through circumstances out of our control and the love that grew between us.

This complex story pushed me to interrogate my beliefs and artistic practice and develop an awareness about issues beyond my own experience. Through research, seeing the appalling treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow, talking with Mia’s mum, attending audiology appointments, meeting Leah Francisco, a Deaf artist (who interpreted and performed the BSL version of the poem), and waiting, always waiting for good news… I decided this story needed to be shared.

Not not only with hearing audiences but Deaf audiences, too. Mia/Me asks us to think about the individual instead of a sea of unidentifiable faces, question what we deem ‘right’ or ‘normal’ and switch passivity for action, even when something doesn’t directly affect us.