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Film made in collaboration with Compass project to open London Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Birkbeck’s award-winning programme for people from forced migrant backgrounds and its impact on the students’ university experience provides the theme for the film.

still image from Silence Heard Loud film
© Anna Konik (DOP Józefina Gocman Dicks)

Silence Heard Loud, a 71-minute film which combines beautiful imagery of seven current and former Compass Project students moving around London with their stories, told in their own words, will open the London Human Rights Watch Film Festival as a world premiere on Thursday 17 March at the Barbican Cinema.  

Between 2018 and 2021, the Warsaw-based filmmaker and artist, Anna Konik, collaborated with seven current and former Compass Project students (Angela Obi, Janahan Sivanathan, Merwa Zen, Michael Darko, Mohamed Alie Jalloh, Nirmala Kahingalage, Selamawit Berhe) to make two films about their experiences: A Road to Traveland Silence Heard Loud (2022).  

The Compass Project offersseveral pathways into university educationat Birkbeck for people seeking asylum in the UK. The team strive to be a strong voice and critical friend to the wider education sector in promoting and supporting routes into learning for forced migrant communities and sharing the benefits this brings to all.  

Leslie Topp, Chair of The Compass Project Steering Committee, said, “This film has at its heart seven brave and determined people who all share the experiences of being displaced from their homes, enduring the UK’s hostile environment for those seeking asylum and finding opportunity and community by studying at Birkbeck, University of London, thanks to the Compass Project. Birkbeck is delighted to have been part of Anna Konik’s important film and we are very excited to see its world premiere at the London Human Rights Watch Film Festival.” 

Silence Heard Loud, represented by Krakow Film Foundation, will be screened on March 17, 6:30-7:45pm, Barbican Cinema 1, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS; to be followed by an online Q&A, 7:45-8:15 pm.  

The film will alsobe available to watch online(UK and Ireland only) on the Human Rights Watch Film Festival streaming platform from Thu 17 Mar at 12:01am-Fri 25 March at 11:59pm.  

Speakers will include the filmmaker Anna Konik, film participant and Birkbeck alumnus Michael Darko and CEO of Refugee Council Enver Solomon. It will be moderated by Yasmine Ahmed, UK Director of Human Rights Watch. 

Follow Silence Heard Loud on Facebook @SilenceHeardLoud or Instagram silence_heard_loud. 

Film generously supported by grants and in-kind support from the Open Society Foundations Education Program, Birkbeck, University of London, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Creative Europe i-portunus and private donors. Project developed within the framework of DOC LAB POLAND organised by Władysław Ślesicki Film Foundation. 

A book under the same title was published for the film by the Arsenal Municipal Gallery in Poznan. Produced with the support of Bokhjälpen (Book Aid), Goethe-Institut Warsaw, Open Society Foundations Education Program. 

Further Information

Buy tickets for Silence Heard Loud- in-person and online screenings  
Watch A Road to Travel 
More about the Human Rights Watch Film Festival 

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