By watching films while standing in a replicate Azraq Refugee Camp home, exhibit-goers will take a multi-sensory trip into the lives of the Syrian refugee youth who not only designed the surrounding home details but also created the films to challenge and improve understanding of what it means to grow up as a refugee.
Featuring: Student Filmmakers of Azraq Refugee Camp and Azraq Town
CARE US and CARE Jordan
Youth and Refugee families of Azraq Refugee Camp and Town with Elana Berkowitz and Sara Rashdan
This year marks the eighth year of the Syrian war and there is no end in sight. Syrians fleeing the war continue to find refuge in neighboring countries, including Jordan, where refugees represent an estimated 15% of the population. Azraq town and the Azraq Refugee Camp together have 60,000 Syrian refugees, and almost 60% of refugees in the camp are under the age of 18. Many of the young refugees have lived half their lives in a refugee camp and are at risk of becoming a “lost generation” with little access to resources, formal education, or creative outlets.
In 2017, the Azraq Film School started with two cohorts of Syrian youth refugee filmmakers, partnering with local and international film professionals to learn film techniques and storytelling. More than 30 young filmmakers and storytelling enthusiasts created their own independent stories that documented their lives, experiences, and hopes during the largest refugee crisis and displacement since WWII. The fiction and documentary short films show the grief, hope, joy, and complex experiences of youth that, despite great loss and isolation, persevere. These young filmmakers are developing a canon of films that elevate neglected voices and experiences. Their stories will expand our understanding of refugee life. Watching these films in a replicated home of refugees at Azraq creates a multi-sensory experience that invites viewers to learn more about the larger refugee struggle while surrounded by details of their daily lives.
CARE is a global leader within a worldwide movement dedicated to ending poverty. We are known everywhere for our unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people. We work around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. CARE has been active in Jordan since 1948, providing the people of Jordan — as well as Palestinian, Iraqi, Syrian, and other refugees from almost 46 different nationalities — with assistance.
Through partnerships within Jordan and abroad, the Azraq Film School launched in 2017 with fictional and documentary digital storytelling boot camps (July 2017 and October 2017) of 30+ young participants. Partnering with film professionals (local and international), including Epic Magazine, AFS conducts in-depth week-long storytelling experiences, where storytellers and filmmakers lead hands-on workshops with young refugees living both in the refugee camp and within cities and towns.