Refugees and Migration

UK Refugee Week 14 June - 20 June

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It goes without saying that refugees, migrants and other displaced people are often misrepresented and even dehumanised across society. Within this context, film can be an incredibly effective medium in revealing the human stories behind such complex political socio-economic issues and in encouraging a greater sense of empathy, respect and cultural understanding among young people.

As people seeking refuge in other countries around the world continues to rise, it has also never been more urgent to actively facilitate this knowledge and understanding. The Syrian refugee crisis for example is now in its eleventh year and remains the largest displacement crisis of our time, leading to 6.6 million Syrian refugees and another 6.2 million people displaced within Syria. Meanwhile, climate change is arguably the most pressing issue facing the world today and is set to produce an unprecedented number of migrants and refugees. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), 1.2 billion people in 31 countries could be displaced by 2050 due to food and water shortages as well as greater exposure to natural disasters. Giving young people the necessary foundation and avenue for understanding these topics is therefore crucial.

Across all our theme pages, we are encouraging teachers and young people to explore where each topic intersects with and compliments others. When it comes to people either moving or being displaced across nations, delving into questions of cultural identity can be particularly fascinating; perhaps in terms of those trying to maintain a sense of that identity when leaving their place of origin or in the struggle of assimilating into a completely new culture. Films to watch with these ideas in mind include Last Resort, A Better Life, The Kite Runner, Dirty Pretty Things, Dheepan and Leave to Remain.

We've pulled together our substantial amount of content around refugees and migrants, including resources, news articles and blogs, film guides and film lists. Together with contextualising the issues at hand, these can introduce your students to a very broad topic within a variety of more specific settings, relationships and dynamics.

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