This Separated Isle: State of the Union

Before the pandemic made a seismic impact across the world, things were already shifting here in the UK: the divide exposed by Brexit, the Hostile Environment policy and rising levels of hate crimes revealed bitter divisions in British society and politics. There seemed to be a chasm between who we were, and who we thought we were. And then there were moments of togetherness and solidarity: the residents of Kenmure Street in Glasgow’s South Side who stopped the Immigration Department from deporting their neighbours, or the 200,000 people across the UK who marched in support of Black Lives Matter in the summer of 2021. To try and break through outdated concepts of Britishness, filmmaker Paul Sng edited and curated This Separated Isle, a book of stunning portraiture and testimony.

At the 2021 Edinburgh International Book Festival, Sng was joined by writer Kit de Waal, who wrote the foreword of the book, and poet and artist Tanatsei Gambura, whose portrait and story appear in it, to explore the different concepts of belonging, and how we navigate the tensions of a divided land.

This event was filmed live at the 2021 Edinburgh International Book Festival. Some of the participants were live on stage and some took part remotely.

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