DissemiNation sheds light on the experiences of migrants and the challenges they face in navigating the bureaucratic and interrogatory processes of the state. It reveals the complexities of belonging in a world where national borders and cultural differences are increasingly contested.
By drawing on the theories of Homi Bhabba, the film offers a critical perspective on the construction of the nation as a textual and narrative strategy, and the romanticized sentiments expressed in state anthems, poetry and literature. The film also highlights the precarity of living in a state of liminality, where individuals are subjected to structural violence. The monologues are composed of writings from ultraconservative nationalists throughout history juxtaposed with romantic expressions of nationalism in epic poems, anthems and text about the nation state. The caseworker, Ms. White recites reflections by conservative nationalists including the German Nazi politician and minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels, the American white supremacist Richard Spencer (who coined the term the alternative right) , the North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un, amongst others. The migrant, Azadeh responds by reciting national poetry from Shakespeare, Rumi and anthems from various nations including Iran, Iraq, and the Soviet Union. The script was developed from research in various archives and sources and text are then recontextualized and stitched together to create ambiguity about who or to what nation these belong to, while showing the similarities of nationalist sentiments, and the construction of national identity through language, culture, and across space and time.