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Shelter Without Shelter

General Programming

dateMarch 23, 2022 timeWednesday, 2:10pm–4:00pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University locationVirtual Event
  • In person attendance is for CU affiliates with green passes only.

  • Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
  • Post Conflict Cities Lab
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
Young person with hands on their head with title of film and date and time of event

Join us on March 23rd at 2:10pm for a screening of selections from SHELTER WITHOUT SHELTER, an award-winning documentary film exploring forced migration and refugee housing. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Director Mark Breeze and Producer Tom Scott-Smith, moderated by Bahia Munem.

This six-part documentary investigates how forced migrants from Syria were sheltered across Europe and the Middle East, ending up in mega-camps, city squats, occupied airports, illegal settlements, requisitioned buildings, flat-pack structures, and enormous architect-designed reception centers. Containing perspectives from the humanitarians who created these shelters as well as the critics who campaigned against them, the documentary reveals the complex dilemmas involved in attempts to house refugees in emergency conditions. Based on innovative new research at the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre, SHELTER WITHOUT SHELTER offers new insights into housing in the wake of displacement and war. We all need shelter, but what is it?

Mark E. Breeze is a licensed architect, Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker, and founding Chair of the University of Cambridge Sustainable Shelter Group and the UK Sustainability Chair at the American Institute of Architects. He is the founder of the award-winning interdisciplinary design-research collaborative Spatial Realities. Mark's current research examines the concepts, forms, and potential futures of sustainable human shelter, through the mediums of film, architecture, and writing.

Tom Scott-Smith is Associate Professor of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration and a former development practitioner. He specializes in the ethnographic and historical study of humanitarian relief and its impact on the lives of refugees. His book, On An Empty Stomach: Two Hundred Years of Hunger Relief was published in 2020 by Cornell University Press.

Bahia M. Munem is Lecturer in the Discipline at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Columbia University. Her scholarship bridges the fields of Latinx, Latin American, and Middle East Studies by examining forced transnational migration and gendered and racialized modes of belonging in the Americas. Munem’s current book manuscript, (Un)Settling Muslim Refugees: Gender, Class, and the Racialization of War Migrants in Brazil, is an ethnography of Muslim, Palestinian, Iraq War refugees resetled in Latin America's largest democracy.

Please email [email protected] to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.