No One is Illegal: Citizens and Non-Citizens

Document has always aimed to be a platform for refugees and those in the asylum system, and it remains one of the most pertinent issues we address today. The reaction of the mainstream media continues to shock in its representation of ‘the refugee’. At best, we see human beings reduced to symbols, evidence of the contemporary world’s perversions; at worst they are an object of suspicion, bigotry and spite.

This year’s filmmakers give three dimensions to individuals forced to face the most difficult situations, stripped of their dignity, identity and autonomy.

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Dreaming of Denmark

After fleeing his native country of Afghanistan at just 15, Wasiullah has spent his adolescent years in Denmark, relishing in teenage antics but also nervously awaiting acceptance for permanent residency. Denmark provides support for unaccompanied child refugees such as Wasi and his friends, but only until they reach 18. Then, they are on their own. Michael Graversen’s eye-opening film investigates what happens to the many refugee children who disappear from asylum centers year after year when their application for asylum is rejected. It provides brutally honest depictions of the transience, isolation and frightening uncertainty they face.

Info

Event: Screening

Director: Michael Graversen

Year: 2015

Country: Denmark

Date: Sunday 23 October

Time: 4.15pm

Running Time: 1hr

Location: CCA Cinema

Flotel Europa

Director Vladimir Tomic boarded the Flotel Europa in Copenhagen as a teenager in the early 1990s, along with his older brother, mother and 1,000 other refugees from the former Yugoslavia. Through video messages, they recounted their lives in limbo to loved ones back home. Via the refugees’ own home movies, Tomic reflects back in this timely and unusual coming-of-age film.

This screening is presented in association with GRAMNet.

Info

Event: Screening

Director: Vladimir Tomic

Year: 2016

Country: Denmark

Date: Friday 21 October

Time: 5.00pm

Running Time: 1hr 11m

Location: CCA Theatre

No One Is Illegal: Non-Citizens and the European Imaginary

“I’m not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.” Socrates, as quoted in Plutarch’s Of Banishment, graffiti remarked upon in Xenos (Mahdi Fleifel, 2013)

In 2016, what constitutes being a citizen? What structures do refugees have to navigate to survive? Panellists will discuss the refugee experience in 2016, in the light of Brexit and unprecedented tumult across the continent and beyond, and ask how the west’s imagination of itself clashes with the documented reality. How do we reassert the human rights of non-citizens?

This event is free and unticketed.

Info

Event: Panel Discussion

Date: Saturday 22 October

Time: 4.00pm

Running Time: 1hr 30m

Location: CCA Creative Lab

No One is Illegal: Three Shorts presented with GRAMNet

BUNKERS (Anne-Claire Adet | France/Switzerland | 2016 | 14m)

A Sudanese journalist has found himself living in cramped dorms with dozens of people, three floors underground. Cockroaches crawl the yellow walls and oxygen is sparse. Switzerland is putting refugees in bunkers. Through the story of Mohammad and images taken by refugees using their mobile phone, live a sensorial immersion into the suffocating life of an underground shelter where asylum-seekers are crammed into upon their arrival in Geneva.

Stateless on Lesvos (Guy Smallman | UK | 2015 | 26m)

Shot over three days on the Greek island now famous for receiving hundreds of thousands of refugees from Turkey. Filmmaker Guy Smallman concentrated not on the refugees themselves but on the incredible dedication and humanity of the Greek and international volunteers assisting the most vulnerable people on the planet as they attempt to reach a place of safety.

Transit Zone (Frederik Subei | UK | 2015 | 32m)

After spending three months living with the refugees in ‘the jungle’, the makeshift camps of Calais, Frederik Subei presents us with the story of Teefa, A Sudanese refugee looking to cross to UK.  Life is not easy with limited access to water, food and shelter, especially during the winter. Nevertheless the sense of community is remarkable. Teefa is determined to fulfil his dream and start a new life in England. But sneaking onto a lorry is difficult and only a few people are lucky enough to succeed. Teefa has been stuck in the jungle for almost six months and is tired of this life. As all camps are evicted by the police, he starts to question the greatness of Britain and thinks about applying for asylum in France.

Info

Event: Screening

Director: Various

Date: Sunday 23 October

Time: 2.15pm

Running Time: 1hr 40m

Location: CCA Cinema

Xenos / A Man Returned

In 2010, Abu Eyad and other young Palestinian men from the Ain el-Helweh refugee camp in Lebanon travelled with smugglers through Syria and Turkey into Greece. Like so many other migrants, they came looking for a way into Europe but found themselves trapped in a country undergoing economic, political, and social collapse. Xenos (2013) is a short documentary blending footage shot on visits to Athens in 2011 with phone conversations recorded during Abu Eyad’s time there. It tells of his day-to-day struggle for survival and enduring sense of exile in a land of hope that has become a nightmare.

In A Man Returned (2016), Reda is 26 years old. His dreams of escaping the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain El-Helweh ended in failure after three years trapped in Greece. He returned with a heroin addiction to life in a camp being torn apart by internal strife and the encroachment of war from Syria. Against all odds, he decides to marry his childhood sweetheart; a love story, bittersweet as the camp itself.

Info

Event: Screening

Director: Mahdi Fleifel

Year: 2013/2016

Country: UK/Denmark/Netherlands

Date: Friday 21 October

Time: 7.00pm

Running Time: 12m + 30m

Location: CCA Theatre