An international festival for films on refugees has begun in Turkey’s Aegean city of İzmir on Tuesday. The festival has been organised for the second time this year by the Association of the Bridge of the Peoples after the festival had a two-year break due to the pandemics.
Academic Emel Yuvayapan of the festival team stated that the aim of the festival was to make refugees more visible, reports Jin News.
“Refugees are the people who live under the most difficult conditions, who work for the lowest wages, and who live in the poorest neighbourhoods. However they are also the least visible of all people. And when they are visible, they are not perceived in their own identities, but through assigned labels (…) Yet, each one of them has a different life and story. Cinema is a good way of telling these stories and lives.”
14 feature films and documentaries, and 35 short films will be screened during the festival between 12-16 April.
There will also be an arts exhibition, a short stage performance, and other events including panel discussions and workshops.
Caricatures by Aslı Alpar, and paintings by Rami Elhejali and Watfaa Wahb, both refugees from Syria and designers of the festival poster, will be exhibited in the arts exhibition.
The festival will also host a panel on the Yazidi genocide on the 13th of April at 7 PM local time with the participation of speakers including Zülfü Livaneli, prominent Turkish musician and author, Natia Navrouzov and Farida Falıt Jrdo from the Yazda Association, and Ameena Qasım Khalaf, a genocide survivor.
The speeches at the panel will be available in Kurdish, English and Turkish.