December 8th, 2016
On Thursday, December 8th, NEXTGen France hosted a film screening at mk2 Bibliotheque for The Refuge Project, a multimedia chronicle of human stories from the European Refugee Crisis.
The audience included fellow NGOs working with refugees in Paris, students, and professionals in the community. The Executive Producer, Max Guen, of Magna Carta joined us as well. To introduce the film, Dunia, told of her experiences fleeing Syria and arriving in Paris, and how she related to the different themes of the film. Following the screening, we hosted a powerful panel discussion, moderated by Vivienne Walt, an award winning foreign correspondent who has written for TIME Magazine since 2003. Vivienne has reported from more than 30 countries, and has tracked the Arab Spring and revolutions throughout the Middle East. She has also closely tracked the migrant crisis in Europe. Other panelists include: Richard Balme, a Professor of International Studies at Sciences Po, Aurore du Roy, the French Programme Coordinator of Kiron Open Higher Education and Elliot Ross, a photographer and artist whose images from the Refuge film were recently on the cover of Vice Magazine.
Richard discussed what the crisis means to him as an academic, as well as how policy perspectives need to shift in order to alleviate the tensions on the local level. He acutely discussed how the label of a “crisis” is only a crisis because it is not being dealt with, and how individuals and organizations need to work together to do what they can to help those in need. Aurore echoed this sentiment and discussed her parent's background as refugees and how this relates and infuses her passion for her current work at Kiron Open Higher Education. Elliot examined the role of the photojournalist, and how his experience of meeting refugees with shared similar backgrounds as him, changed his perspective on the crisis. He also showed us photographs from the film. Following the film and panel, attendees gathered in the foyer to check out an exhibition of photographs from the film, for sale, by project photographers Matthew Kirpo, Rosanna Bach, and Elliot Ross. Almost all of them sold! Also for sale, there was also an 80-page limited print run book, featuring the complete Refuge Project Photo Stories, with photos, captions, introductions and an original essay by film producer Matteo Zevi and a Foreword by project director Matthew K. Firpo. Plus, there was a seating area where attendees could listen and watch background supplementary interviews on iPads. A huge thank you to Saveurs and Parfums for providing the refreshments. This amazing multi-media project raised nearly 4,000 euros for UNICEF!