In a land where civil wars and a US led drone war can keep my people caged in their homes for months on end, films can make a world of a difference.
With Yemen, words like war, conflict, failure, crisis constantly follow. Hopelessness and anger are present in these articles. The rage of society, the anger of government, or lack there-of, the anger of those wrongly murdered with airstrikes. Families scream about militia rule. Don’t get me wrong, there is all of that. But that is not only what you see if you take to the streets like we did.
Perhaps the most lasting effect of the Yemeni uprising was the willingness to stay connected. Everyday, more of us meet for the first time, whether online or on the streets. We build relationships and talk about what kind of a society we want to build. We film, dream, photograph, organize, discuss and listen. We exchange ideas for film scripts based on what we think the future of our society would look like. Will it stay the same? or will it change? We create stories that are deeply grounded in values, that bring perspective and communicate a vision. The reason we make films is not because we are just angry with mainstream media coverage or with the way Yemen is turning out, but because we want to use it as a platform to share concerns, hopes, and aspirations, which we see everyday in every angry or smiling face we see on the streets of Yemen.
In my 27 years, this is the most I have ever felt part of a community. Four years on from the anniversary of the Yemeni Uprising, we continue to make art, that speaks life.