AFTER THE STORM #RIDEOVERRACISM
Following its critically acclaimed reception at film festivals and screening events around the world since its limited release in November 2021, now, in the lead up to the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21st, it’s a particularly relevant moment to unveil After the Storm film to the public.
Filmed by Andy McCandlish and directed, produced and edited by McCandlish and Andy McKenna - After the Storm reveals the remarkable story of Scots Asian diversity pioneer Aneela McKenna who has tackled racism and discrimination in her own life with the help of mountain biking.
Applauded by cyclists and non-cyclists alike, this revealing short film invites viewers to open their hearts and minds to how racial discrimination feels, and consider the way it impacts on individuals and society at large, and invites everyone to recognise and actively stand up to racism in order to be the best, most enriched version of themselves.
A few years ago, Aneela McKenna was at breaking point. Embroiled in a racism grievance case against her boss, her self-confidence, respect and belief had plummeted to an all-time low and she needed a timeout.
Taking an extended career break, Aneela embarked on a solo mission on her trusty mountain bike in search of what she most needed to mend and renew herself. She turned to her favourite place in the world - the Outer Hebrides Islands, the site of many happy memories of adventures with her husband Andy.
In this film Aneela and Andy revisit these remote Scottish islands and pedal their way through life’s ups and downs. Amid stunning scenery, the pair ride and reflect on the realities which drove her to this unspoilt landscape and the refreshed outlook and strength she returned home with.
Moments of pain, frustration, triumph, laughter and defiance are uncovered on the beaches, in the waves, over a bothy fireside dram and amidst the mountains where their connection to Scotland and one another is strongest.
After the Storm reveals how Aneela’s solo trip sparked changes in the couple’s lives - both personally and professionally - and they ask everyone to look in the mirror, face up to racial discrimination, consider their role as allies, and become truly anti-racist.
If the film can engage even one person who would ordinarily have disengaged from this kind of story or argued that racism does not exist in 2021 - it’s done its job. We hope viewers are left with a sense of what discrimination can feel like, how it affects others, and to reflect upon what they can do to help enrich society and the world by making it a more diverse and inclusive space.
Pamela Barclay, (previously) Marketing Director, Endura - REVIEW
It is an incredibly powerful challenge to the MTB industry to sort out our act and not just claim that there are no obvious barriers to folk on the basis of race… and anyone can ride a bike. We recognise that we do need to do more to ‘normalise the difference’ in our imagery and activity… and be much more welcoming and relatable to folk from a different background. I’m certainly ‘disgusted by my ethnicity’ from time to time… and we have built much of this country on the back of a horrific colonial legacy and slavery which is not taught nearly enough in schools. But this was also a touching love story … the two of you are beacons of inspiration in how we might instead support one another through thick and thin and never lose a sense of nonsense. It was masterfully filmed and aesthetically beautiful - very proud to have helped in our small way.
Consultant, mentor and entrepreneur - Aneela McKenna is an award-winning equality, diversity and inclusion change-maker. She is founder of the Mòr Diversity EDI Consultancy, D&I Lead for the UCI 2023 Cycling World Champs, chair of British Cycling D&I Advisory Group, Board member of Scottish Cycling’s Participation and Development Committee and partner of Go-Where Scotland MTB adventure outfitters.
Aneela has an infectious passion and a quiet determination to amplify marginalised voices and assist others to understand and embrace EDI - to enrich industry and organisational culture whilst increasing representation in sport and the outdoors.
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