Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Home from Home

Caroline Irby's original photo-journalism project for the Guardian/Observer newspaper group/Channel 4 TV appeared as four (disappointingly) short (3+ minutes) documentary programmes on television earlier this month under the above title.

Each of the episodes has a theme - Arrival, Finding my Feet, Looking Back, The Future.

Basically, a collage of her still photos - each child (187 nationalities resident in the UK
of the 192 nationalities in the world) was shown - with excerpts from her interviews with some of the children. Jaime appeared for about 30 ms as many other children -and only those whose interviews were quoted had their countries of origin named - a shame.

Even though there was not time to produce the audio from all of Caroline's interviews many of the children/young adults, it seems each got a soundbite.

Jaime's, (which I missed the first time round) ... "It was busy and dark and cold".

Another favourite quote from an unidentified source in the first episode "When I first arrived, there were so many white people!"

My favourite interviews from the four episodes are those from the first episode with two Liberian and Mongolian young adults. They are eloquent and intelligent. All these young people have much to offer the UK, their own countries and UK foreign relations.

So many of the soundbites speak with the regional accents of the area of the UK in which the child resides - I have certainly noticed that as Jaime has been learning English it is with a Rochdale accent!

I speak the language of my adopted country fluently, incorrectly and with a decidedly British accent. Speaking English to non-UK colleagues (including Americans), as opposed to drinking companions at the local pub in Rochdale (even though I was brought up in the south rather than the north), I codeswitch (a Linguistics term) to Standard English and "Received Pronunciation" rather than "ain't" and double negatives - "I ain't got no money" - which are perfectly understood in Rochdale.

The nationals of my adopted country codeswitch all the time between the official colonially-imposed language and various creoles (hmm ... another future post on this subject) .

I digress ...

Unfortunately, I cannot show you the programme ... copyright! Nrgggh!

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