The Aliens You Don't Know | Video Essay 2023
In March 2022, after facing two rejections for a resident application, I finally obtained a permit to stay in the US called EB-1A. As some of you may be aware, the US officially classifies extraterrestrial beings as EBEs (Extraterrestrial Biological Entities). However, the term "Alien" has a more significant historical context in the US, dating back to 1765, originating from the Latin word "alienus," which, in turn, traces its roots to the Oscan word "mancupatis" associated with a proto-Etruscan tribe, denoting a slave. Throughout US history, the term "Alien" has often been used derogatorily, particularly in reference to Latinx/Mestizx and Asian communities in America.
This video essay is a poignant memorial of the years spent by a diaspora striving to achieve "Alien Worker" status in the US. It sheds light on the challenges and frustrations faced by passport holders from "third world" countries, emphasizing the harsh realities of the so-called "American Dream" for many diasporas. Moreover, it captures the sense of alienation and inferiority that many experience due to the politically biased media in our interconnected world.
The video premiered as part of the otay:onii performance at the Roadburn Festival 2023 in the Netherlands and will continue to be shown in this setting during tours in the US and globally.
While some diasporas of color have reluctantly accepted the violence of inequality in their daily lives, there are those of us who refuse to succumb. We persist in our fight for recognition and meaningful change. The constant struggles, fueled by a profound lack of respect for human rights (ironically in a country that boasts about them), coupled with ongoing racial and national discrimination and power suppression, have taken a toll on people's psyches, force us to believe that this is the reality we must accept. This gradually turning our insides into monsters. However we will not sit comfortably with such abuse and disgrace of humanity. The video demonstrates the determination of changing, starting within ourselves.
The wish of the video is to show the existence of "otherlings" amongst us and raise awareness about the intentional divisions and manipulations that exist in our world.
You and I are not so different, some of us still believe.