Refugees - An in-depth look at camps

From 1 September to 31 December 2014

F ifty-two million: according to the United Nations, the number of human beings who are forced to live in a place that is foreign to them. In a tent, under a tin sheet or slate roofs, most refugees have found shelter in camps – of which there have never been as many as there are today. To illustrate the diversity of this new reality, ARTE journalists chose four different locations in Nepal, Iraq, Lebanon and Chad. In each refugee camp, a film director, a photographer, a writer and a cartoonist were given free rein to describe their experiences. Their work is being shown on television Saturdays in ARTE Reportage and on the ARTE Info website – each time taking you to a new destination from September through December. In the interactive experience “Refugees –Report from the ground”, you can become a special correspondent for ARTE and produce your own multimedia reports.  This project has emerged after an encounter between Marco Nassivera (ARTE News Director) and Régis Wargnier (Director). It then received support from UNHCR.

Ten refugees describe their daily life in Breidjing camp

Sent by ARTE Reportage to the Breidjing camp for Darfur refugees in eastern Chad, the photoreporter Laurent Van Der Stockt organized a workshop and handed out cameras to ten refugees, male and female, aged from 10 to 33.

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"Breidjing - Life in the middle of nowhere", by Damien Glez

ARTE Reportage decided to top up the professional cartoonist's already full appointment diary by giving this French-Burkinabe a rather unusual assignment: produce a comic-strip report in the camp for Darfur refugees in Breidjing.
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António Guterres (UNHCR): "I hate the camps"

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees replied to ARTE Reportage’s questions at the organization’s headquarters.

Five days in Breidjing refugee camp with German writer Uwe Timm

For ARTE Reportage, German writer Uwe Timm tells the stories of the refugees in Breidjing camp. 

"We are the Palestinian refugees", a film by Agnès Merlet

The setting for the director's new film is the Burj el-Barajneh refugee camp, in the southern suburbs of Beirut. A city in the city filled to bursting with 30,000 people and their cargo of hopes and dreams. Agnès Merlet depicts the repetitive everyday grind of inhabitants in the labyrinth of the camp, where life never stops, both day and night.

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Through the eyes of the Lebanese Christina Malkoun

The Burj el-Barajneh camp in the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital is not an unknown territory to her. Her images recount the destiny of its inhabitants, the stigmata of war, the fleeting joys of the everyday existence of people awaiting a new life, in a city of cubes piled up one on top of the other.

Atiq Rahimi writes to the refugees of Bourj el-Barajneh

Novelist, director, observer: Atiq Rahimi strolls through the streets of Bourj el-Barajneh, where it is difficult to see the sky. From this walkabout and the people he meets, he has brought back a postbag full of letters.

Graphic novel
"Mukhayam - Little Palestine", a comic by Didier Kassaï

After surviving the black days of the Central African conflict, Didier Kassaï set off for Lebanon. For ARTE Reportage, Didier Kassaï wandered through the maze of the Burj el-Barajneh camp to recount the daily existence of Palestinian refugees, turned upside-down by the arrival of Syrian refugees.

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"The Lost Time", by Pierre Schoeller

The film director Pierre Schoeller, noted for his film "The Minister", has chosen to show the raw truth: by entrusting his cameras to a few refugees who filmed their daily, private lives, he delivers a strong and raw film for ARTE reportage about the Kawergosk refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Culture, Politics

There have never been so many refugees and displaced persons

If all these people were to form a nation, they would constitute the 26th largest country in the world.

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Where do the refugees come from? Where are they going to?

Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia: more than half of the refugees on the planet come from there.