Disinfonauts! When it comes to refugees, we’ve been flooded with information, “fake news”, real news and all manner of things that have muddied the waters of our consciousness. In terms of who refugees are, who gets to live where and why, it seems the confusion of the subject is more present than the humanity of it. As a writer, filmmaker and social scientist, I’ve made it my mad personal mission to do my best and give the story directly to your eyeballs. Things can’t be any more real than for me to ask questions to refugees themselves and let them answer.
The interview you are about to see was made in early December of last year in a squat in Athens, Greece. The location in question was a former school that had been abandoned and was in disrepair. Moments before the interview, one of the 100+ men who lived in the squalor bathed himself in the only working sink in the building, which happened to double as the kitchen where NGO supplied food was prepared for these men. The man I interviewed supplied a fake name and wanted his face hidden because he is seeking new papers and since what he has to say does not reflect well on the nation of Greece, he did not want the public association.
I cannot stress the despair and hopelessness that these refugees are living under right now, with no place to go and seemingly no advocates. The streets in Greece are dangerous with the rise of Nazis and the harassment of local police. I guess the question some of you may have is, “why tell us about all this?” the answer is simple, you and I need to decide what kind of humans we are right here and now, not later. We have to listen and look to ourselves honestly and ask if our snarky positions based on talking points are acceptable to us. It may seem impossible, but the plight of these men could one day be our own.
For those interested in knowing more about the film I am making about the refugee crisis in Europe, you may visit Erisfilms.com.
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.
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- Refuge - Nov 21, 2016