Riz Ahmed's "Englistan" Video Is a Love Letter to Multicultural Britain

A celebration of diversity in the face of post-Brexit racism.

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Music
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Riz Ahmed is a jack of all trades: you may know him from his starring roles in cult classics like Four Lions, or his supporting role in Nightcrawler alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, or most recently his starring turn in HBO’s crime mini-series The Night Of; he also makemusics hip-hop under the name Riz MC, including a collaborative EP with Queens-born Indian rapper Heems (of Das Racist) called Swet Shop Boys and a mixtape, titled Englistan, that dropped earlier this year. Riz recently released the visuals for the latter project’s title track as a celebration of Eid and as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the July 7 bombings that shook the British capital back in 2005.

Ahmed’s video also celebrates Britain’s kaleidoscopic multiculturalism in the face of post-Brexit racism and xenophobia by filming in some of the Little Island’s less-publicized cultural centers: namely, Britain’s oldest active synagogue, old Soviet tanks, mosques, chip and kebab shops, and — perhaps most importantly — the British streets themselves. Ahmed describes the video as “kinda like my love letter to multicultural Britain.”

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