Everything Worthwhile is Done with Other People

Everything Worthwhile is Done with Other People takes up the conversations, experiences and freedom dreams of a group of women affected by the carceral state, as encountered through the UK government’s hostile environment policy and prison system. This work began as a series of workshops led through Hibiscus Initiatives framed around questions of criminality, innocence and citizenship, perceived through the lens of gender, race and class.

The group is made up of women from South Africa, Ghana, Jamaica, Albania, Nigeria and Iraq. Through these sessions the technical facets of filmmaking are deconstructed, through theatre games and improvisation, camera and sound recording, storytelling and testimony. Central to this process of congregating as a group is sharing experiences, offering mutual support, advice and tactics to address the interminable limbo of unanswered applications for leave to remain or appeal for asylum, alongside applications for housing or urgent medical care, or the need to reconstruct some semblance of stability after the traumatic impact of detention or a prison sentence.

Over the course of the last five years our ambitions to create a collectively authored film have been held and nurtured through many shared meals, blossoming friendships and periodic trips to the beach.

As the process of our gathering draws to a close, a polyvocal hybrid film has emerged, offering a small glimpse into a group’s attempt to connect and form against punitive contexts that strive to diminish, reduce and disappear. The work continues to articulate how in spite of these conditions, solidarity and love, can and does prevail.

Mariame Kaba,“Eve L. Ewing, Everything Worthwhile Is Done With Other People”, ADI Magazine (Fall 2019)

UK, 2023, Colour, Stereo, 16:9.
Original format: 16mm film / 2K Video.

Director/Camera/ Editing Rehana Zaman and EWIDWOP Collective
Producer Amal Khalaf and Elizabeth Graham Production Coordinator Layla Gatens Second  Camera Chinekwu Okoronkwo. Sound Recordists Gisou Golshani, James Bull. Colour Jason R. Moffat. Sound Design mix Richy Carey at èist sound. VFX  Tim Booth. Film telecine James Holcombe.

Commissioned by Serpentine Civic.

Everything Worthwhile is Done with Other People, film stills, copyright EWIDWOP Collective and Rehana Zaman.