God Save The Queen

Following  on from commercial jobs with an array of fashion's biggest brands and publications Martyn Ewoma makes his film debut with God Save The Queen in collaboration with Sludge Magazine

Video: Sludge Magazine/YouTube

As Sludge Magazine makes it's foray in to video with the launch of our new YouTube channel, we're delighted to have frequent contributor be the first to contribute with his debut film God Save The Queen made in collaboration with us. Below are a few words from Martyn about his motivations for making the film.

"First of all I'd recommend watching the film first before reading what I have to say about it. Because it's interesting to know what people's opinions will be just based on the film. Anyway, the short film explores the dichotomy between how Britain imagines itself versus what it actually is. I know time is only a construct but when we entered 2020 I found myself thinking a lot about what the past decade had been like. Why it was the way it was, what the next one would be like for me personally and for the world as a whole. I think the fact I'm turning 25 towards the end of summer also made me think about it more because most people in my age bracket are probably going to be having kids in the next decade, and I was really aware that given what the previous one had been like for me it would feel immoral to have black children in the U.K. knowing what their lives would be like. So I was thinking about what that means for my life trajectory a fair bit. 

The idea for the film came to me whilst I was in the midst of thinking about this sort of thing, when at the same time there was a lot of media coverage of Meghan Markle wanting to leave the Royal Family because of obvious racism in the media and people just flagrantly denying it. I think people have a fundamental misunderstanding of what cultural recognition and acceptance means. A lot of people seem to think that because Britain is more of a multi-ethnic society that other parts of Europe, it means British people accept other cultures and races. When really it's just because a lot of rebuilding needed to be done after WW2 (which Britain would've lost without American intervention despite the hard-on war time rhetoric gives right wingers) so they invited people from commonwealth countries. Clement Attlee and the Labour government of the time never expected people from black commonwealth countries to emigrate and when they did both them and the Tories worked to mitigate what was known as "coloured migration". This initial and total accidental influx of blacks was succeeded by years of racism exemplified by political movements such as The National Front, Britain First, a Conservative government opposed to sanctions against apartheid South Africa, the BNP and the EDL. So the idea that there being numerically more non-white people in a place makes it less racist is only applicable to people who don't understand history properly. If existing in a space equated to acceptance then the successes of people from these backgrounds would be celebrated and people like Raheem Sterling and Stormzy wouldn't have spent most of their careers being crucified for no reason. Or the Windrush generation who are apparently the bastion of Britain's accepting nature wouldn't have been shipped back off to where they came from under the hostile environment.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a supporter of democracy and with the majority the Tories won in the last election it's unarguable that democracy has been served. Brexit has happened, Boris is in power and the majority of people get to live in the sort of country they want. They should just be honest about what that means rather than lie because it makes them feel better about themselves"


Words and film by Martyn Ewoma

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