Multippl’s Inaugural Event – European Premiere of WHOLE/ホール

Renn YuChieh Lin
Renn Lin
Taiwanese journalist based in London. Interested in theatre, language, literature, news, cooking, geopolitics, policy, economy, data, infographic, and anything visually aesthetic. Loves dogs.

Must Read

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

On 20 January 2024, Multippl’s inaugural event took place, the European premiere of Bilal Kawazoe’s 2019 short film WHOLE/ホール, at The Natural History Museum in West London. The event presented the mixed ethnicity community platform to a wider audience and started a conversation that is familiar yet strange to London, about East and Southeast Asian identity. Over 130 people attended.

multippl's inaugural event at the Natural History Museum
multippl’s inaugural event at the Natural History Museum


The film brings the audience into the lives of two protagonists of mixed ethnicity in Japan. Haruki and Makoto express opposite attitudes towards their identity in the same society, which holds a vastly different view to ethnic diversity than London does. The film captures experiences and emotions that are often easily overlooked. For instance, we see Haruki’s sensitivity to strangers’ probing questions about his background and Makoto’s reluctance to come to terms with his underlying sense of loss over his father’s absence. Neither are comfortable and cannot make genuine peace with their own identity, but things started to change when they meet one another by chance.

The choice of the film reveals the motivation for establishing a social platform such as Multippl in a city as diverse as London. It is a story that confronts the common way that people in Japan approach mixed ethnicity, yet its gentle tone neither condemns nor blames. Presenting this film in London reminds people of which path the city has taken, how far it has come, and how individual mixed-ethnicity experience is diverse as well.

Panel Discussion

Three panellists in the arts and culture field and from European-Asian backgrounds were invited to share their experience and thoughts on the topic after the screening. The panellists agreed that London provides fertile ground for them to grow and appreciate their roots, but also mentioned occasional moments of self-conscience when caught off-guard. Laure Chan’s story, about encountering a common “ching chong” insult when travelling, provided the most visceral example that translated across no matter the background. She talked about the initial feeling when being insulted, the reflex, which was trying to “prove her whiteness”, and then the afterthoughts about the reflex. It was a painful story, yet almost certainly not a rare one.

Panel discussion with Saina, Dom Hadley, Laure Chan and Thomas Patterson
Panel discussion with Saina, Dom Hadley, Laure Chan and Thomas Patterson

While the panellists shared similar experiences of growing up in European cities, mainly London, the struggle that the film illustrates seemed slightly distant due to the fundamental difference between the environments. This leads to a realisation about the complexity of East and Southeast Asian heritage in London, where there is an extensive history of ethnicity diversity: When embracing multi-culture, can it recognise and appreciate individual groups? When the city prides itself of being inclusive to all heritages, are the East and Southeast Asian communities seen, understood, and considered?

A successful inaugural event

We can’t answer those questions yet, but we did see people staying after the event to speak to each other and make conversations happen. While tucking into food provided by Konbini Kids. It was surely inspiring to see people show curiosity and create a space together for more sparks. And I think that’s exactly what Multippl is for.

People mingling after the event
People mingling after the event

It was a successful debut for Multippl, and what’s coming in the future is definitely worth following for anyone who cares about cultural diversity and identity, or simply loves meeting great people in this city.

The multippl team and panellists: Will Zucker, Steph Andrews, Laure Chan, Dom Hadley, Saina and Thomas Patterson

More from the author