Prevent Watch

Imran Perretta unpacks Muslim visibility in art film ‘the destructors’

imran perretta muslim identity surveillance prevent

The arresting 20-minute film from Imran Perretta unpacking Muslim visibility in the post-9/11 era, the destructors, can be experienced at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester until November this year.

A short clip of the film can be viewed here.

The two-channel video projection of just over 23.5 minutes reflects on his experience as a young man of Bangladeshi heritage in Britain. According to the Tate, “it reconsiders the figure of the alienated male youth as a means to explore the complexities of ‘coming of age’ for young Muslim men living in the United Kingdom”.

Shot at a community centre in Tower Hamlets, the film takes its title from the Graham Greene short story published in 1954. Perretta said: “What struck me was the parallelism between Greene’s narrative about a gang of teenagers known solely for their capacity for violence [in post-war London], and the media portrayal of young, brown men like myself around the advent of the War on Terror.”

The film explores the visibility of Muslim men, and how they are rendered both hyper-visible and invisible through state policies.

In an in-depth interview, Perretta said: “People of colour are rendered both visible and invisible at all times and against their will. There’s no better example of that than in the government’s Prevent Strategy and how it has forcibly made visible Muslim communities throughout the UK and at the same time has made them invisible in strategic ways.”

Perretta’s other key works include 15 days (2018), about migrants in northern France, Brothertobrother (2017), which was inspired by a Schedule 7 stop at Heathrow, and DESH (2016), a deep exploration of identity that was shot in Bangladesh.

Read more on The Art Newspaper.


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