FOR US AT COURAGEOUS,
FREEDOM LOOKS LIKE:
Courageous Films is more than just a film production house. In such uncertain times, having a vision of what freedom looks like is vital as we struggle to overthrow all systems of oppression globally. We understand the role that mediums such as film can play in raising people’s consciousness and so, every film we put out into the world comes with a message and a call to action. We also understand that our political vision is a living, breathing thing and will evolve and grow as we do, responding and adapting to the times as needed.
In compiling our Humanifesto, we take inspiration from groups, coalitions, organisations, and initiatives such as Black Lives Matter UK, Movement for Black Lives, 4Front Project, and No Fly on the WALL, to name just a few.
Taking Up Space, being visible, centering our stories, defining our own narratives
We believe marginalised voices must take up their rightful space in this world and deserve to have their voices heard, lived experiences believed and should be visible in a world of constant erasure and gaslighting.
And an end to all forms of state violence so…
Defunding the police, abolitioning the prison industrial complex and (re)investing in communities
Over the past 30 years, the prison population has almost doubled, with police having more powers (for example, Section 60s, surveillance tech and injunctions) and more weapons such as guns, tasers, and spit-hoods than ever before. Black people are disproportionately on the receiving end of stops, searches, arrests, and excessive force.
The police and prison system are beyond reform - we need an alternative system to keep our communities safe. We need social responses to social problems, not an ever-expanding, racist police, and prison system. We need funding for transformative justice and the services that actually keep people safe such as refuges, community programs, and youth centres, and call for a bold transformation of health and social care, education, housing, employment, and immigration services. Imprisoned people are more likely to have experienced domestic violence, homelessness, unemployment, school exclusion, special educational needs, mental health problems, problematic drug use, poverty, debt, and precarious immigration status.
As Angela Davis reminds us, ‘prisons do not disappear social problems, they disappear people’.
An end the hostile environment and militarised borders
Freedom of movement is a human right, especially when you are fleeing conflict, environmental disaster, or abuses often as a consequence of colonialism and global white supremacy. While immigration controls are a relatively recent phenomenon, Britain taking land, resources, and exploiting people across the world, from Australia, to Africa, to Asia, to the Americas, is centuries old. The wealth of Europe is built on the colonisation of the countries from which migrants come. As migrants continue to flee underdevelopment, war, and climate change that they did not cause, justice doesn’t mean border controls, it means reparations for slavery and colonialism and safe passage.
Britain’s militarism, economic exploitation, environmental destruction, and the propping up of oppressive governments in African and other parts of the Global South continues the legacy of colonialism.
We stand in solidarity with Black and other Global South peoples resisting exploitation, violence, and environmental destruction in all its forms.
All Black Lives Matter
This one speaks for itself - all Black lives, everywhere matter. When the most marginalised among us are raised up, they bring everybody with them. If you are only fighting for the lives of cisgender heterosexual Black men, you are not working for Black Lives.
We believe in disrupting the status quo and challenging white supremacist hetero-normative patriarchy.
We believe in small (as well as great) acts of defiance. We believe that anger can be righteous and is a necessary impetus for change. We believe in destroying tired, reductive, and limiting stereotypes of Blackness, of what it means to be of the world’s Global Majority Peoples (GMPs), and seek to explore the infinite possibilities for surviving and thriving.
We make our films with intention - we cannot be neutral. As Desmond Tutu reminds us, if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
We do everything with these values in mind.