Welcome to 2021! After a challenging year – and potentially facing another – the time is definitely right to re-examine and reaffirm our values.
Curly Lizard has just been the grateful recipient of a small grant from one of the last drips and drabs of EU money coming into the UK. It was awarded through the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, and its purpose is to help companies to add infrastructure or diversify in times of COVID-19. We thought it best to invest in some camera and audio equipment, so as to be able to send out a one-man-band for a very particular range of projects, which we hope to get underway in the coming year as coronavirus restrictions lift again. More on this anon. As I said, we’re very grateful for this, and are therefore proud to fly a small EU flag on this website.
The sharper-eyed among you will have noticed we’re flying more than a tiny EU flag down below. We have the Union flag and the Austrian triband fluttering there as well. Here’s why.
I was born in the UK – Somerset, since you ask – but I was born with Austrian nationality as well as British. Aside from making me unbearably cosmopolitan, and giving me the gift of German, I also retain freedom of movement and will be able to travel and work in the 27 countries at will. Which could come in very handy, and I look forward to doing so.
But being European for me means more than this simple convenience and goes far beyond work and trade. Curly Lizard has been built with a resolutely internationalist outlook, which is all the more relevant as this peculiar, self-important island we live on pulls up its drawbridge. We consider it a duty to maintain and celebrate links with the rest of the world, to bring what’s special about so many other countries in over the barricades. We want to reveal, to share and to delight, to disarm and to forge bonds across this continent and beyond. Being European, and being international, is (to use an expression without an exact English equivalent) our entire raison d’être.
Being European also means having a colonial heritage. This has left strong connections with further-flung nations around the world, whether all the countries formerly part of the British Empire, or the lands across Central and Eastern Europe once ruled by the Habsburgs. This not-always-benevolent past is something to acknowledge and to inform our attitudes towards other countries. A core value for Curly Lizard is promoting the idea that we have something to learn from every country and every culture, and none are to be disparaged or condescended to.
If we know one thing about the world, it’s that no country is better than any other. All are magnificent in their own way, and we wholeheartedly reject exceptionalism. We are fascinated by all the differences we discover around the world and take enormous pleasure in them. I hope the films we make encourage other people to think the same way. That’s always been our mission, and never has it been more important.