To mark World Refugee Day on June 20, York University’s Faculty of Education will host a free screening of the documentary film Warehoused. This film explores the plight of refugees through the stories of those in Dadaab, Kenya – one of the largest refugee camps in the world.
The screening will be held in the Nat Taylor Cinema from 11:30am to 1pm, with a panel discussion following the film. The event is being co-sponsored by the Faculty of Education and the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University.
About the film
Over 60 million people worldwide are identified as refugees: displaced and without shelter, adequate nourishment, health care, or an opportunity to cultivate a sustaining livelihood. The feature-length documentary Warehoused, by filmmakers Vincent Vittorio and Asher Emmanuel, gives an intimate look at the plight long-term refugees face worldwide.
The term “warehoused” refers to people who have been restricted to camps or segregated settlements for over five years. These refugees are deemed unfit to reside in regular society. Either for their protection or because there is no other place for them, these people are stocked away, confined to these institutions to be dealt with at a later date.
Warehoused looks at this global phenomenon by exploring life in Dadaab, Kenya, one of the largest refugee camps in the world. We see the camp’s inner workings through one man’s journey to do everything in his power to provide for his family. His resilience through desolation gives us a clear picture of the harsh realities of resettlement and the hope each refugee desperately holds onto. However, this film and the characters in it are not unique; they rather magnify the much larger problems that long-term refugees have faced for centuries.
Historically, refugees have been powerless to fix their situation, and today is no different. With over 12 million people living in refugee camps worldwide, only 0.1 per cent of those each year are resettled, repatriated, or integrated into normal society. Many spend their entire lives in the camps, dreaming decade after decade for stable resettlement. While there are groups and organizations that are constantly working to provide help and resources for refugees, these are only temporary fixes to historical and global crises.
While these camps seem helpful in the short-term, warehousing or stocking away people with little chance of resettlement merely puts a bandage on the problem. Every refugee throughout history and across the globe has the common goal of finding a place to call their own. Family, love, and hope have kept them pressing on through homesickness, heartache, hunger, and fear. “Warehoused” tells the story of these courageous asylum seekers and accentuates how vital the role that nations and organizations have in the lives of millions of people who are simply in search of a home.