Alicia Keyes short video puts viewer in refugees' shoes

Issue 

American singer Alicia Keyes has produced a short feature that reimagines the current refugee crisis as if it were taking place in California.

The refugee crisis in the wake of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa has triggered many militant xenophobic responses. But for those on the other side of the world, it can seem a distant reality.

Thus, Keys' musical short film “Let Me In” aims to put US audiences in the shoes of these refugees.

American singer Alicia Keyes has produced a short feature that reimagines the current refugee crisis as if it were taking place in California.

The refugee crisis in the wake of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa has triggered many militant xenophobic responses. But for those on the other side of the world, it can seem a distant reality.

Thus, Keys' musical short film “Let Me In” aims to put US audiences in the shoes of these refugees.

Set to the backdrop of her latest single “Hallelujah”, the short clip starts in a typical North American suburban neighbourhood. It takes place in southern California, where Keys plays a mother who is preparing breakfast for her children.

As scenes on the TV cite ongoing bombings in the state, their morning routine is upended by a sudden violent explosion. The family is then seen fleeing the scene, preparing to head to the Mexican border to seek refuge.

Subverting the dominant narrative of Mexican immigration to the US, as the refugees approach the border, they are met with heavily-armed Mexican police on the other side.

With the sea of people hoping to escape the conflict in California as diverse as the American population, Keys' short drives home the point “what if it were us?”

At the premiere of the video last month in a surprise event at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, Keys said to the crowd: “I'm both an artist and an activist.”

The musical video is part of her involvement with the new initiative, “We Are Here”, which works with other groups to provide critical support on a number of pressing issues.

[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]

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