The Feminine and the Foreign

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Thoughtful and compelling portraits of Black activism in London.

Internationally renowned filmmakers, fashion practitioners, visual artists and DJs the Nest Collective collaborated with activists and artists in London and Cape Town, all the way from their home in Nairobi, Kenya, to create this series of brief, evocative documentaries.

The Nest interviewed Black activists in Lewisham and across London, seeking to understand how different generations of Black Londoners relate to London as their home, and asking how young activists can develop their practice in a public arena unforgiving of mistakes.  

The films premiered at a special event in June 2022 at Shipwright as part of LIFT 2022 and We Are Lewisham, and are now available for a limited time to view online, free of charge. 

Commissioned by LIFT, the Institute for the Creative Arts at the University of Cape Town (South Africa), and the British Council. Supported by British Council’s Sub-Saharan Africa new Art new Audiences programme, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, We Are Lewisham and the Albany. We Are Lewisham is presented by Lewisham Council and the Albany as part of the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2022. A LIFT Tottenham Commission.

VOL. I: In Which A Filmmaker Tells Us How To Dismantle Empire

Veronica McKenzie

Veronica McKenzie is a writer, director, and budding historian, with work including 'UNDER YOUR NOSE' (2017) about UK black LGBTQ+ history, and MONICA LOOSE ON A CRUISE which was a BFI Flare 2019 selection. Veronica wrote, produced, and directed her debut feature 'NINE NIGHTS' which won the Pan African Film Festival Narrative Feature Director Award 2019 and is currently on Amazon.

VOL. 2: In Which A Writer Shows Us How Community Is Lifesaving

Phil Samba

Phil Samba is a health promotion specialist, researcher, social activist and writer with over five years of experience working in public health. His work primarily focuses on reducing the health inequalities of people of colour and in particular, improving the sexual and mental health of queer men of colour and increasing accurate visibility and representation for Black queer men.

VOL. III: In Which A Theatre Maker Shares The Recipe For Dreams That Come True

Indie Max

Indie Max is a creative explorer from Lewisham. His work spans acting, music, producing and now directing theatre. He has been a member of SOUNDS LiKE CHAOS for 10 years, devising and performing in shows such as 'Phenomena', 'Wow Everything Is Amazing!' and 'Fire in the Machine'. He has also performed with a number of collaborators including The Science Museum, Lyric Hammersmith, Manchester International Festival & The Unicorn Theatre.

VOL. IV: In Which 2 Young Londoners Attend A School For (Good) Troublemakers

Iman Ahmed and Nimrod Wansavi-Francisco

Iman works as a camera trainee in film and tv and has worked across a range of productions. She is an alumni of London Screen Academy, a film school founded by some of the UK’s most successful film producers at Working Title Films. Nimrod Wansavi-Francisco is a 20-year-old social activist from the Netherlands based in South London. At the Advocacy Academy, he learned the basics of community organising theory over a six month intensive programme. With the skills he learnt and alongside three queer people of colour, he launched ICONIQ, a safe space for queer young people of colour with/without the intersection of faith. Difficult familial relationships, rejection and estrangements are a reality for some of those in the queer community, meaning a traditional Christmas spent with family is off the table. And so they launched Queermas, a space with their chosen families, the people who can understand them and love them unconditionally.

VOL. V: In Which A Beauty Queen Reminds Us That Everyone Comes From The Stars

Miss saHHara

Miss saHHara is a British Nigerian singer/songwriter, fashion model, beauty queen, the founder of, and Miss Trans Global. A keen beauty and fashion enthusiast, she has cat-walked for numerous designers at London Fashion Week, graced the covers of several magazines, hosted and appeared in shows across Europe and Asia. In 2011, Miss saHHara was the subject of a Sky Living documentary exploring the lives of trans women participating in beauty pageants in Thailand. In 2014, she was crowned the first ever Super Sireyna Worldwide, a global transgender beauty pageant, which made her the first black trans woman to win an international beauty competition. .

VOL. VI: In Which An Alchemist Illuminates That Black Worlds Are Worth Saving For Black People

Ama Josephine Budge

Ama Josephine Budge is a British-Ghanaian speculative writer, artist, scholar, curator and pleasure activist whose praxis navigates intimate explorations of race, art, ecology and feminism, working to catalyse social justice, environmental evolutions and troublesomely queered identities.