As a long time contributor to disinfo.com I’ve always been interested in unearthing the difficult truths that we must face in these times. Since embarking on the making of my first full length documentary on the Syrian refugee crisis, some of those difficult truths have moved from abstraction to bludgeoningly painful realities. I’ve been on the road in Europe for the last two months going from country to country to find out what the actual situation is there. I’ve done this because I was not satisfied to believe the narrative being put out through traditional media channels. I must say that the difference between what I thought was happening and what is actually happening is staggeringly different. It’s served as a reminder of the importance of looking into things ourselves and being very cautious about the narratives we allow to rule our minds and hearts.
I’ve asked myself what it might be like to be a stranger in a strange land, with no home to turn back to and no promise of friendly people where I’m heading. Ironically, in order to afford to make this film I’ve had to give up my home, creature comforts and the joy of a return address; for all intents and purposes, I’ve become as destabilized as a first world person can be in my approach to this. It’s on purpose, firstly because making films is expensive and secondly because living Spartan draws me closer to the very people I want to know more about. It in no way equates to the unfathomable fear and suffering that many have to endure in order to make it from the war zone to Europe, but it’s one less barrier that needs to be broken down.
I’ve given up everything I have in order to find closer truths straight from the people experiencing this crisis and I offer it up to you, Disinfonauts. Filming is 2/3 complete and the remaining 1/3 will be conducted in Greece and Turkey and we need help to finish it. I hope that you will take a moment to see what I’ve been up to by watching the trailer below:
If you are interested in taking action with us as we make this film, you may view our crowdfunding page here:
Gabriel writes for VICE Magazine, Disinfo.com and Realitysandwich.com and is the author of three books. He is continuing his research at the University of Washington in his hometown of Tacoma, WA.