Deaf hip hop drama premières on British TV

Published: 3 May 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Here / Not Here Credit: Carlton Dixon

Here/Not Here, a new British, deaf hip hop drama utilising British Sign Language, Krump street dance, football and Visual Vernacular (the choreographed form of sign language) will have its TV première on Film4 and Together TV on Monday 11 May and will then be available online on BSL Zone following the broadcast.

It is directed by film-maker and Deaf artist Bim Ajadi whose recent works include docu-drama Dot and short film 4 and written by Jonzi D with music composed and produced by Torben Lars Sylvest. This urban hip hop drama film sees three rival groups—Deaf VVers, footballers and Krumpers—clash over who should use an abandoned warehouse space. Despite their differences, they find a common language through movement.

Ajadi said, “Here/Not Here is about fear of invasion of a space. The message of this film is not to be too quick to judge strangers; once you’ve crossed that line in getting to know a person more, you might be surprised by how much you have in common, how you’ve learned something new, how much you feel valued. This is about being open-minded and trying to accept and appreciate new and different people.”

A behind-the-scenes documentary, directed by Andrew Gillman, will see Ajadi and Jonzi D discuss the making of the music drama.

Here/Not Here can be seen on Monday 11 May on Film4 at 8AM (pre-watershed version), Together TV at 7PM (pre-watershed) and 10PM (post-watershed) and on BSL Zone from 8:30AM, then again at the same times on Monday 18 May.

The project features a company of both established and first-time BAME actors, dancers and Visual Vernacular performers including Nadeem Islam, Catrina Nisbett, Theophillus ‘Godson’ Oloyade and Ryan Pendley.