The United Kingdom has just finished celebrating Refugee Week from June 16th to 22nd. Here in Bradford, there were a variety of events from a heated Question Time-style panel discussion to a walk highlighting the monthly journey that destitute refused asylum seekers make to sign on with the court. The University of Bradford Union’s Amnesty International and Student Action for Refugees societies collaborated to create a series of short films to contribute to the Week. As a member of both societies, I was lucky enough to play a part in making the project happen. We tried to make each film in a different tone and style to appeal to a different type of audience.
The first film in the series, Refugees 101, is a set of facts counteracting several major misconceptions which abound in the United Kingdom as well as outlining some of the major challenges facing asylum seekers here.
Street Talk has a more light-hearted feel, a quiz challenging the audience to question how much they really know about asylum seekers as they play along with the Bradford locals.
Out Into The Rain is my personal favourite because it was largely guided by the subject of the film. From when she sat down, it seemed clear that she knew exactly what she wanted to tell the world.
In Someone Else’s Skin was the film with which I had the least involvement, a situation that was probably for the better because the result was far more metaphorical than my literal mind could have created. It explores the labels and stigma stuck on asylum seekers and refugees.
“Refugee Shorts” premiered on Monday June 17th, and we hope that the films will continue to be viewed and affect people long into the future.