With the proposed ban on the US refugee resettlement program from 7 predominantly Muslim becoming a roiling issue, the tensions over “who is America” are simmering. It’s all to easy to be caught up in a frenzy of a polarizing us/them or American/immigrant discourse without finding a common ground of humanity, and turning the mirror on ourselves.
In ReliefAnalysis Episode 9, filmmaker and docuseries creator Ruka Osoba describes her acclaimed humanitarian-theme project, Nation of Somewhere. Osoba, who is Nigerian-American, describes in vivid detail how her project has become a safe and vibrant space for many Americans who comprise the nation’s authentic multiethnic fabric.
Nation of Somewhere is a cross-platform, interactive creative project, with episodes on YouTube, and a strong dialogue on Facebook. In her interview, Osoba describes how the project has provided safe harbor and expression to many followers. It has also opened Pandora’s Box in terms of backlash–but Osoba describes how this is the fuel and inspiration that keeps her going.
On the horizon for Nation of Somewhere is Season 2, and continued engagement in highly visible film festivals. As Osoba continues to build toward these accomplishments in 2017, her work in the broad humanitarian documentary genre is an essential contribution to a country otherwise being driven towards polarization and fracture.