In the past few years the refugee crisis has become a part of Greek life. The immigration issue is dominant in the news and refugee stories are aired on a daily basis. But what if there was subversion and the subject of the narrative became the author of the narrative? What if the refugees were given the opportunity to tell their stories on their own terms?
"Home New Home", an initiative implemented by the Hellenic Institute for the Promotion of Documentary Story Doc under the auspices of the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information, gave the means to young refugees to narrate their own stories.
Through the Home New Home programme, young refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and other places were given the opportunity to be trained in filming and attend seminars by prominent directors and academics. These seminars took place in schools, universities, as well as refugee accommodation centres in Greece and other countries. The outcome of the project was the production of 40 documentaries with stories and experiences of refugees and migrants that will be screened in various cinemas in Athens October 17-30, with free admission.
A press conference for the presentation of the "Home New Home" action was held on October 16th at the Amphitheatre of the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information in the presence of Kostas Spyropoulos, representing StoryDoc, the Director of Goethe-Institut Athen, Dr. Matthias Makowski, the Deputy Mayor of Athens, Maria Iliopoulou, the representative of Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Anna-Maria Kosmoglou and the representative of the Open School programme of the Municipality of Athens, Vlasis Kostouros, with the assistance of which the action was implemented.
In her opening address on behalf of the Ministry, the Special Secretary for Communication Crisis Management, Fotini Pantiora, noted: "The Home New Home programme consists of film narratives of the refugee crisis by the refugees themselves. The promotion of cinematic art and youth creativity has been used as a means of escaping from the tough reality these people have experienced in their countries, enabling them to express their feelings and experiences. For the last two years, our country has made enormous efforts to welcome and accommodate thousands of people driven by war and poverty to seek peace and a better life. Despite difficulties, efforts will continue at both state and social level through actions and programmes such as this, which we hope will succeed.
On Wednesday 18 October, at 19:00, six documentaries will be screened at the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information (Fragoudi 11 and Al. Pantou) amphitheatre; admission is free.
Watch the "Home New Home" trailer: