This week, Talawa Theatre has launched two more episodes from its Tales from the Front Line series.
Tales from the Front Line is a six-episode series that uses verbatim interviews with Black key workers to explore the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
You can now watch the third and fourth films in this online series. These new films raise concerns about working in an environment where, in comparison to last March, customers have an increasingly blasé attitude to health and safety measures. Not to mention a dwindling respect for the key workers outside of healthcare.
The new episodes interrogate the economic bind which forces these key workers to prioritise financial security over risks to their personal health. They expose the frustration at watching customers flout COVID-19 rules, risking theirs and others’ safety, for the sake of convenience.
Tales from Black key workers
The third film in the series is directed by David Gilbert and stars Kwame Bentil (Get Luke Lowe; Summerlake). It shares the words of a train dispatch worker. He worries that his job is putting his elderly father at risk of infection. He’s disappointed by the lack of respect he gets from passengers, even as he adapts to help them, and tries to enforce the rules to keep them safe.
Whilst the fourth episode in the series is directed by Jessica Mensah and stars Ann Akin (I May Destroy You; Strike series). This episode shares the words of a supermarket assistant. Her job has led her to consider the judgements she has made about others’ career choices, as she becomes conscious of entitled shoppers’ perceptions of her. From the fear inspired by panic-buying to the sudden appreciation from shoppers, the pandemic has been a rollercoaster.
Tales from the Front Line interviews
The pandemic has had a starkly divergent impact on communities. Black people are four times more likely to die from COVID-19, according to Public Health England’s figures in May for England and Wales. In November, the Joint Committee on Human Rights report, Black People, Racism and Human Rights, concluded that the Government must urgently take action to protect the rights of Black people across many areas, including healthcare.
The Tales from the Front Line interviews were a space for the Black workers to share their experiences, their concerns, and their hopes for the future. Black artists and creatives have then used the testimonies to create a dramatised work using music, movement, photography and soundscapes to convey the story with humour and hope.
These stories explore Black workers’ relationships with British society and how, in the wake of the Windrush Scandal and the global Black Lives Matter movement, the pandemic has challenged their perceptions of belonging. They demand that a changed society must emerge from a post-pandemic world.
When: From 11th February 2021
Where: Watch online via YouTube
£: Free to watch
More info: www.talawa.com