A young Kurdish artist has directed a short humorous and sensitive film on Kurds and Alevis living in the UK. Entitled as “Count me in: Census 2021”, the film focuses on the importance of the recognition of the identities of Kurdish and Alevi communities living in the UK and aims to encourage Kurds and Alevis to take the opportunity to be identified in the survey that takes place every ten years and is used to plan services and policies in the UK.
In the Census survey 2021, Kurdish and Alevi identities are listed under “other”. Thousands of Kurds and Alevis living in UK have to choose ‘other’ options to indicate their ethnicities and religious beliefs. Although not for the first time in a UK Census, Kurds and Alevis are listed under the ‘other’ options and can be chosen to identify how you wish to be identified in addition to British status, which the short film was made to highlight. It the first time however that the Census can be filled in online.
For Census 2021, which people in England, Northern Ireland and Wales are required to fill out on or as soon after Mar 21 2021 and no later than the end of April. (the deadline for Scotland has been postponed until 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic) Kurdish and Alevi activists and community organisations in the UK have been conducting dedicated work in order for “Kurdish” to be listed as part of the “identity” options and “Alevi” to be listed as part of the “religious belief” section.
With the campaign, the Kurdish and Alevi communities aim to make the Kurdish and Alevi identities more visible. The campaigns goal is to reveal the actual demographic information regarding the Kurdish and Alevi populations living in the UK.
Being the “other” in the UK
Botan Sinayic, an 18 year old Kurdish artist directed a short film entitled “Count me in: Census 2021” in order to raise awaraness and support for the campaign.
Journalist and Kurdish language teacher Aledin Sinayic wrote the script while Berrin Shemdin, a Kurdish theatre actress stars as the lead role with her daughter being played by Gonca Aksoy.
The film focuses on the Kurdish mother’s attitude and Kurdish hospitality when a council census survey officer visits her home to help fill out the census survey. The characters portray how it is to be the “other” in the UK using humour and irony.
The short-film may be watched online via this Youtube link.