Filming at the Borders: Welcome to Refugeestan (Bienvenue au Réfugistan)

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October 26, 2016 Wednesday, 4:00pm EDT Buell Hall, Maison Française, Columbia University
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Welcome to Refugeestan (Bienvenue au Réfugistan)
Anne Poiret, 2016, 71 min.

Genre: TV Investigative Documentary. French Production. Filmed in: Tanzania, Jordan, Greece, Kenya, Switzerland, France. French, Arabic and more, with English subtitles.

U.S. Premiere

Almost 17 million people - refugees, displaced persons or migrants - live in camps, in a virtual country the size of the Netherlands. And yet the names of these places do not appear on any maps. The UNHCR and NGOs have developed ways of running them that are both efficient and absurd. This film explores the land of camps, from Kenya, to Tanzania, Jordan, and the Greece-Macedonia border, as well as at the UNHCR’s headquarters in Geneva. It reveals an immense system that combines humanitarian concerns with the management of undesirables whom rich countries want to keep out, whatever the cost. The film highlights another facet of European policy regarding the migrant crisis, but on a global scale.

Welcome to Refugeestan, which was released on European cultural channel ARTE in June 2016, courageously tackles a complex matter through a rigorous investigation and implacable storytelling. Poiret, a journalist who has received most prestigious Albert Londres Prize, is a specialist of “neither peace, nor war” situations in the Middle East, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Sudan.