Refugee Republic

Dirk Jan Visser, Jan Rothuizen, Martijn van Tol
Netherlands 2014 | 15 Min.
Q&A with:
Reiner Leist

REFUGEE REPUBLIC is an inter­ac­tive trans­me­dia doc­u­men­tary about every­day life in Domiz Camp, a Syrian refugee camp in north­ern Iraq. The aim of the film­mak­ers – artist Jan Rothuizen, mul­ti­me­dia jour­nal­ist Mar­ti­jn van Tol and pho­tog­ra­ph­er Dirk Jan Visser– is to enrich the exist­ing image of refugee camps by build­ing an anatom­i­cal sketch of every­day life in the camp through a com­bi­na­tion of draw­ings, film, pho­tog­ra­phy, sound and text to create a sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence. Through this mul­ti­di­men­sion­al mix they bring to life the inhab­i­tants and places and create the feel of being amidst the dust, the odor and the vivac­i­ty of the camp. A draw­ing that serves as a survey map shows the vis­i­tor his or her exact loca­tion in the camp. In the maze of streets and alley­ways, trades and inter­ac­tions, the formal struc­ture of the camp is resource­ful­ly used by its inhab­i­tants – like Ahmed, who is skip­ping school to start up a bird trade, the busy cir­cum­ci­sion doctor Shix­mous or army desert­er Ahmad, who set up a tuktuk garage in front of his tent. (idfa / submarine)