For those who have always longed for a faraway home…
Have you ever felt lost, a stranger in a strange land, confused why you don’t belong, despite your best efforts to feel ‘at home’? Were you born and raised in a country that was foreign to you, what was once an all-or-nothing gamble by your immigrant parents for a better life, and yet … your ancestors have not walked these lands, their songs don’t echo in these forests. There is your true home far away, roots which you feel obliged to explore. But what happens when you go to that ancestral home country and feel just as lost? Have you wondered why the people that may look and sound like you but look straight through you? Does this mean you don’t belong there either? Does home exist?
Jasper Julia’s semi-autobiographical feature film captures this take that many millennials and Generation X of the 21st century can relate to. Our immigrant parents from the Far East, Central, Southeast and Pacific Asia; the Middle East; the North, Horn, Central and South Africa came to the West to raise their children in hopes they wouldn’t suffer life’s hardships like they did. They couldn’t know then, what that East-to-West displacement could have led to — as we grew older and yearned for a sense of belonging. Julia’s project, entitled ‘No Sitting On The Grass’ explores what going back home looks like, as she hopes to direct a feature film this summer with her crew in the heart of Seoul, South Korea.
A South Korean-Canadian herself, Julia hopes this project will help herself and many of us experience in the same sinking boat: encompassing what it means to feel displaced in our inherited cultural environments, heartbroken at the loneliness of the process of self-discovery and struggling to connect with a lost nostalgia of her and her ancestors’ past. Given our dichotomous social and political climate, where our world has become seemingly smaller and more integrated (read: the East is looking more and more like the West) and yet, despite our parents’ dreams of wanting us to have better lives in the First World, we are still treated like how our grandparents would have been, if they had they immigrated decades ago. Still looked at as foreigners, outsiders, like we should have never moved in the first place. As if it was our choice.
The project is set to take place between June and July 2017 but it requires help. And funding. This campaign page highlights how exactly the budget will be broken down, from the production costs, the travel costs for Julia and her crew, the rentals of equipment and the honorariums for the actors. To make this project even sweeter, each donation, even as small as $5, will get each donor a personally-written poem and drawing from the creator herself. An original piece of Jasper Julia’s heartfelt gratitude for supporting this project, the most beautiful original thank-you note. And it only gets better from there. How bout a handcrafted guide for visiting Seoul yourself one day including how to use the transportation, the must-see spots, phrases to communicate with, created by the crew? Maybe owning the soft, beautiful music that make up the film’s soundtrack? A hand-made t-shirt, honourable film mentions, what about the chance to be a producer of artwork? A list of these incredible perks (and answers to any questions you may have) are also available on the campaign page. Hear from Jasper Julia herself and learn about how her production crew will make this vision come to life. Follow the ‘No Sitting On The Grass’ project on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for updates on the production process.
If there was ever a time to contribute to a powerful piece of artwork, a project of self-discovery for one and a movement of cultural belonging for many, this is it.