What does it take to belong?

"Although we might not be able to define the word 'belonging' with precision we all know what it feels like, those who lack it perhaps most acutely.

"The grounds of belonging have shifted in a socially networked and complex global culture, fewer and fewer of us can claim a fixed sense of belonging or one simple identity. And yet to our great cost, what academics call othering, the exclusion of individuals or even whole groups of people from categories of belonging continues. We still define ourselves as much by what we are not, as by what we are.

"We need to feel acceptance to be part of the social order, to be part of the human community."
Terryl Bacon

'Belonging' was the theme of 2013's Afrika Eye festival, that elusive sense which is an essential component of security and happiness.

The speakers on this panel havecomplex backgrounds, like most people in our socially mobile world. Families have diverse origins in different parts of the world and move around, bringing up children in numerous locations.

As society develops in this way, how can we maintain a sense of belonging? Does it stem from family, place, or as Terryl suggests in her opening speech, groupings which rely on the exclusion of others?

In this panel discussion join directors Judy Kibinge, Alain Gomis and Simon Bright - all of whom screened films at Afrika Eye 2013 - to find out how the concept of belonging resonates in their films and their own lives.

This event was presented as part of Afrika Eye 2013. Afrika Eye is hosted by Watershed in partnership with Bristol City Council, Bristol Libraries, African Voices Forum, Awards for All, BCFM, Plantation Restaurant, Arts Council of England, Bristol Business News, WOMAD Foundation, and UWE's Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education.

Posted on Sun 10 Nov 2013.