The Expulsion

4K Video, 2019

The Expulsion is a deeply personal work, this short film highlights the rich interior world of an unnamed migrant with references to themes of race, class, and gender.

Invoking the energy and memories of a pre-gentrified 1990s east London with weaving testimonies and daydreams, highlighting the monotonous rhythms of physical labour. The film also explores the weight of frustrating consumerist aspirations in the city's West End.

The narrator forces an imagined viewer to look at what has been made unseen; cleaners, labourers, janitors, porters, bouncers, and sanitation workers each attempting to claim the spoils (and that which has been spoiled). Guiding us into a shadow world of 'invisible' workers by transmuting the common acts of cleaning and maintenance into something that has the power of the rituals of prayer or a sequence of launch codes. Each repetition evokes an attempt to reach apotheosis, to leave the loop or at the least shake off the signifiers of difference and poverty.

Shot in 4k resolution, The Expulsion’s lyrical script, undulating visuals and hypnotic original score connect an ever-present past to current concerns of societal iniquity, class ceilings and erased histories.

© Installation Photos by Reece Straw

The Expulsion, produced with funding from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland and The African Arts Trust