Directed by Daniel Bailey, 'Can I Live?' begins with Balogun explaining his personal life directly looking into the camera, making the viewer feel almost like a facetime call with a lifelong friend. If I’m honest, what impressed me the most was how inviting the experience was - Balogun uses personal family stories in order to engage with the audience while at the same time giving facts as evidence to support his arguments about why climate change is something we should all be caring about - and the reason behind why it seems to be only white people being involved.
Similarly, I believe it is important to highlight what I consider the most important line of ‘Can I Live?’ which struck me the most after finishing watching: “Climate crisis is a class crisis”. Often in our society we are told how we can help in contributing to helping the environment by either buying eco products in groceries, or recycling. However, it is usually big corporations which should be taking responsibility for their pollution to the planet, as those with a lower financial status cannot afford to choose how to spend their money but rather have to focus on surviving until the next paycheck.
In addition, Balogun has integrated a few song performances with catchy lines that play repeatedly during the feature to make ‘Can I Live?’ a memorable watch for whoever is watching, personally I believe this documentary has the power to influence anyone watching regardless of age and background, as it is very visually clear to understand what the problem is.
Lastly, even though most of the 60 minutes it is Balogun conversing with the viewer, the end features dedicated activists in organisations such as Seize the vote, Border abolition, Stand up to racism, Women of colour in the global women's strike, which give insightful movements currently going on. Overall, ‘Can I Live?’ felt like a must watch experience to become aware of how social inequalities are also affecting climate change.
Special thanks to the Barbican Centre, London for the opportunity to watch this wonderful piece conceived, written and performed by Fehinti Balogun. You can watch on the online tour until the end of November 2021.