|Title ID||4314||Collection ID||406|
|Collection||South East Arts|
|Theme||Urban Life Case Study Brighton|
|Keywords||Communities Education Ethnic Groups Piers Social Welfare Urban Areas Women|
|Duration||19 min. 10 sec.|
|Copyright & Access||Copyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details|
This documentary uses interviews to give voice to the immigrant Bangladeshi women who are living in Brighton, women who feel isolated in their adopted homeland.
A small group of Indian families enjoy a picnic on Brighton beach during a Bank Holiday weekend, and explore the seafront, alongside the white visitors. Neon lights light up the pier and the seafront at night, and Asian men work in an Indian restaurant. Black and white archive photographs of Indian men at Brighton Pavilion serve to remind us of the long connection held between the city and this ethnic group. A number of representatives from ethnic minorities bodies and from local government are interviewed about the difficulties faced by immigrant Bangladeshi women living in Brighton. Several women from the Bangladeshi community are interviewed - their identities remain hidden however for fear of reprisal. The women talk about their feelings of isolation and entrapment in a culture of domestic patriarchy and in a Western society in which they have limited language skills. In an attempt to combat the latter issue, Bangladeshi women take English language classes at the Friends Centre in Brighton, classes which are under threat from a lack of sustained funding. The film ends with an image of the Indian families looking out to sea from the beach at Brighton.
Bhashahara (1990) provides an insight into a community which has traditionally had a low visibility in Brighton - although a diverse city in many ways, Brighton's population has traditionally been represented as being white British. The word 'bhashahara' translates as 'lost voice'; the lost voices of the Bangladeshi women. This film succeeds in giving voice to a community and a gender so often silent and/or invisible.
The film was funded by South East Arts (now known as the Arts Council England, South East) as one of their first multi-diversity culture projects. For Screen Archive South East Bhashahara (1990) represents a starting point for the development of a collection of material that recognizes and represents the diversity of the region.