Filming family and negotiating return in making Haraka Baraka: Movement is a blessing
University of Manchester
This article focuses on how Kurdish returnees experience the process of returning “home”, how they imagine and (re) negotiate their future, through the discussion of my documentary film, Haraka Baraka: Movement is a Blessing, which tells the story of my parents’ return to Iraqi Kurdistan after living in the Netherlands for more than 20 years. While over the past decade, the Kurdistan Region has developed into a safe-haven situated within a conflict-laden area, the recent tension around the Islamic State’s (IS) expansion has changed the social and political landscape significantly in the Middle East, leading to new considerations for potential returnees. Based on the fieldwork I conducted through filming my own family during their return journey, I argue that using visual anthropological tools can open a window onto diasporic movements and illuminate social life in times of crisis by challenging the representation of Kurdish migrants and addressing the impact of uncertainty in their lives.