On a Wing and a Prayer

Alia Syed
,
UK
,
2016
,
video
,
colour
,
18'

On a Wing and a Prayer is a film inspired by the story of Abdul Rahman Haroun, who walked through the Channel Tunnel on 17th August 2015. Mr Haroun was held on remand for 5 months at Elmley Prison. He has since been released and granted asylum but was charged under the Malicious Damage act of 1861 for illegal entry into the UK. The language in this bylaw, when juxtaposed against the physical and emotional feat of traversing 30 miles of the Channel Tunnel supplies the terrain for this film. 

Meta Incognita: Missive II

Alia Syed
,
UK
,
2019
,
video
,
colour
,
50'

Second part of a triptych of films that utilises different histories while focusing upon recognizable locations along and within the River Thames: from Millbank Prison (now the site of Tate Britain) to Second World War architecture on the Essex coastline. Linking places as far flung as the Canadian Northwest Passage and a cellular prison in the Andaman Islands, the three Missives create an extended narrative recited by the female captain of a ship returning to the Thames from the Canadian Arctic. Meta Incognita: Missive II is based on the exploits of the Elizabethan privateer turned explorer Martin Frobisher, who repeatedly sailed to the Canadian Arctic in search of the Northwest Passage. Set in a future where global warming has opened up the Northwest Passage to heavy/commercial/trans-continental cargo trade, the narrative follows a renegade ship’s captain who has undertaken a commission to smuggle the last remnants of the now illegal commodity coal.