Leiden Shorts 2021

Our key visual of this edition has been designed by Sioejeng Tsao, a self-taught artist of Chinese descent. Her paintings and illustrations are colourful explorations of various social aspects like racial justice, climate justice, LGBTQIA+ liberation and her own feminist identity.

Theme 2021

Leiden Shorts fundamentally believes in cinema as a tool for social change. We see it as our responsibility, as a cultural organisation, to reflect on our surroundings and discuss urgent issues through films and events. 

2020 has been an extraordinary year, marked by a variety of circumstances that have challenged the environment, the global health and social structure as a whole. 

As wildfires ravaged the lands – displacing communities, depriving animals of their natural habitats and blowing harmful pollutants into our atmosphere – Leiden Shorts tackled the first problem through the concept of Climate (In)Justice. This theme seeked to highlight how existing inequalities are exacerbated by climate collapse, disproportionately affecting people living in poverty, people of colour, and those in low-lying regions and arid lands. As many of these inequalities were magnified in the wake of the global coronavirus lockdowns, and further amplified by the wave of Black Lives Matter protests, it seemed only logical to continue the conversation from there. 

The theme of the 2021 edition of Leiden Shorts starts with a reflection on 2020 and a (hopeful) look on our future society. In the past years social and environmental emergencies around the globe have exacerbated pre-existing issues such as inequality, discrimination and a general fear of the other. The pandemic has increased hostility against certain minority and vulnerable groups. In the meantime, countless protests arose around the world to condemn violence against people of colour. 

In the Netherlands many voices have been raised to denounce the problems. This country hosts a varied population with roots in countless nations around the globe, where the notion of racism is still considered tenuous.

In our 2021 edition we will present four panel discussions that explore current emergencies in relation to multicultural identities in the Netherlands. Leiden Shorts will offer a stage to Dutch individuals with an Asian, African, Arabic, Carribean ancestry, with the aim of sharing their narratives, the challenges and opportunities they see for our future societies.

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