What/How/Why - The abandoned house
"The abandoned house" is a documentary shortfilm that shares my encounter with children that are in the process of migrating as we aim to create a collaborative horror film. The development of this project is subject to the underlying forces of migration I cannot control.
This undergoing project is collaborative in nature and intends to involve children to have a central role in the decision making from the script writing to the editing of the film. It initially integrated perspectives of children in Mexico and in a second phase it will be further continued in Europe. As opposed to most related projects and media representations, migration is not directly discussed nor the personal stories of the children. The migration context can be felt in a subtle way throughout and how it affects the unexpected unfolding of the narrative.
The film is made in the context of art classes for children I guide at shelters for families moving into a new country. Children are taught storytelling frameworks and filmmaking techniques, and I fill the technical gaps where needed. The lines between their collaborative horror film and my documentary diffuse, as well as scenes of fiction and nonfiction. During the art classes the children make handmade masks to conceal their identity during the film.
The main objective of this project is to present an alternative representation of children behind the label of "migrant" and guide a process where their personal agency is considered. I aim this project to spark dialogue related to adult centrism, aporophobia/xenophobia, cultural appropriation, and the traditional media representation of migration. I also intend to explore my own position to the ethics of collaborative and social justice projects.