In Welcome, a special kind of intercultural experience is shown. A poetic road movie about a journey of discovery to Eritrea. The artist goes in search of her African family in a distant, unknown land. A slow tracking shot captures the first encounter with the unknown. A strange song can be heard from a window, and behind the building, we discover nothing at first, after a long period of suspense. The expectations, dreams and longings are not simply fulfilled.
For the first time, the Eritrean government organises a cultural festival for youths living abroad at a military camp. At a military parade of the army, which can’t even afford to give its soldiers boots, young people from all over the world meet. They have one thing in common: Eritrean ancestors. Back home they are called citizens with a migration background. In Eritrea they are alien, at home they haven’t quite been received. One can run through all the facets of multicultural life in this absurd situation. The rhythm of the soldiers, women and men from left to right, right to left. Like strange scales they march along to the quiet, lonely footsteps of the viewer. In the end, we’re always alone. The girls try to cling to the familiar and braid traditional hairstyles to the rhythm of global, Western music. The game and the laughter of the children is a reminder of past times, and when a married couple has an argument, we don’t need interpretors. This intimate search for one’s own identity becomes a journey of discovery into lost roots and a poetic contemplation about the differences and commonalities of life in a global world. The intimate and the strange, the known and the distant, the familiar and the public all lie very close together.
The foreign visitor has understood the most and on the last day, the rain patters innocently on the roofs of Asmara.