HOPE not Hate researcher infiltrates US alt-right – last chance to help fund his film

Picture taken by Patrik Hermansson at Richard Spencer’s (alt-right leader) “rally for free speech” held in Washington D.C. on 25 June 2017.

For 12 months of his 25 years, Swedish researcher Patrik Hermansson lived a double life.

To his friends he was an anti-fascist and anti-racist researcher, studying for his Master’s degree in London. To those inside a terrifying and violently race-obsessed world, he became “Erik”, a dissatisfied Swede who had come to London inspired by Brexit, eager to get away from the (supposed) ‘liberal bias’ of Swedish universities.

On behalf of HOPE not hate, he infiltrated the upper echelons of what’s known as the ‘alt-right’, a movement with strongly antisemitic, conspiracy- and race-obsessed far-right members, which has tentacles across the world, online and off. Its core belief is that “white identity” is under attack and its influence has reached as far as the White House.

Patrik secretly recorded people who wanted to deport Jews and Muslims and who talked of murdering leftwing opponents. He even met people who boasted of direct links to the Trump administration. He also witnessed the terrible violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left a woman dead after a car was driven into anti-racist protesters.

Patrik’s experiences are captured in a new film which we’re soon hoping to release and take on tour – if funding permits.

The 60-minute film ‘My Year in Kekistan’ chronicles Patrik’s journey as he descends ever-deeper into this interlinked world.

We’ve been fundraising via a Kickstarter campaign to get the film fully funded, edited and ready to be shown across the USA and parts of the UK. The deadline for contributions is tomorrow – January 31.

Based on Patrik’s undercover research and infiltration into the movement, we have unique and unprecedented footage and access inside the international alt-right movement.

We think this story is too important not to be told – but regular production companies and distributors weren’t comfortable taking this sort of thing on. We knew the only way to bring the project to life was to turn to others, like ourselves, who cared about the future of our democracy.

Our one goal now is to finish the film so that we can expose the alt-right for what it is: international, well-funded, and able to influence in the highest corridors of power.

Once finished, the documentary will form the centrepiece of a “Right the Wrongs” tour of America. The film will be taken to town halls and campuses as part of an educational initiative to shed light on the alt-right and develop support for how to combat it and close it down.

We’ve teamed up with Silverfish Media, an award-winning filmmaking team, to finish ‘My Year in Kekistan’ and we’re grateful to all those who can support it.

  • Nick Ryan is director of communications for HOPE not Hate.

 

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