As we launch ‘UK National Security – Who Pays the Price?’, our media officer Carys Davis explains the purpose of the film series, and looks forward to sharing more in the coming weeks.

Have you ever thought about the price others pay for our so-called national security? 

Have you ever wondered who is on the receiving end of UK foreign policy?

And have you ever asked, is it worth it?

Launching next week, our ‘Who Pays the Price?’ series of short films explores these questions, and raises many others. We do this by communicating the individual, human impacts of the UK’s approach to its national security. It is – we think – a powerful way of encouraging Government, policy-makers, media and the public to rethink security. What does it mean to be secure? How can we ensure this, every day, for everyone? How does pursuing our own idea of ‘security’ impact on the lives of others? 

As Rethinking Security’s media officer, and with a background working with refugees, I’ve seen the potential that storytelling can have. Too often we rely on data and statistics to rail against the way things are, when the experiences of those who’ve lived it can bring the problem – and its solution – to life in a much more engaging way. 

So, how are we going about it?

‘Who Pays the Price?’ is a series of three short films, which we’ll be releasing over the course of the next three weeks. Each film focuses on one location and, most importantly, features interview footage with a national from that country. Sayed from Bahrain, Teresa from Northern Ireland and Ameen from Saudi Arabia have bravely shared their stories with us, stories which shine a light on how what is done in the name of UK national security is to the detriment of people all over the world. They are survivors of global conflict who can help us realise where, as a country, we are going wrong.

The time is now

There is no better time to explore these issues. The Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and the ongoing threat of environmental destruction are creating huge opportunities for positive change. And as I write, the Government is working behind the scenes on an Integrated Foreign Policy, Security, Defence & International Development Review to come up with a new national security strategy. Doing this without hearing from those affected by past approaches is shortsighted at best, dangerous at worst – not a means to achieve secure and sustainable peace.  

If the Government isn’t listening to people like Sayed, Teresa and Ameen, we believe that Rethinking Security has a responsibility to make their voices heard. And we encourage you to watch, listen, share and engage with us and with these films. As well as those who have suffered from global insecurity, we need to hear from ordinary British citizens who are willing to stand up and say ‘not in my name’. We need to push the Government to consult widely ahead of its Review, to listen to the many of you who agree that it is now time to do things differently, that addressing the underlying causes of insecurity is paramount – and that elitist, masculinist and militaristic attitudes will never make our world secure. 

A huge thank you

Our big thanks to everyone who’s taken part in making these films, but overwhelmingly to Sayed, Teresa, Ameen and others, who’ve helped us better understand the impact of what our Government is doing, both inside and outside UK borders. Our first film launches on Monday 22 June, featuring Sayed from Bahrain, and he’ll be taking over the blog too – not to be missed! 

The trailer can be viewed now on our website or our YouTube channel.