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Projekte / Film / Video
In Griechenland supporte ich Aktivisten an der Grenze. Die Erfahrungen und Begegnungen die ich da mache nehme ich mit zurück in die Niederlande mit diesem Dokumentarfilm.
2.145 €
2.000 € 2. Fundingziel
Projekt erfolgreich
28.11.17, 09:31 Laura Heinig
Liebe Leute, (*Sorry, only in German*) hier doch nochmal kurz ein 'Hallo'. Der Kreis schließt sich, mit vereinter Kraft von Freunden und Engagierten zeigen wir morgen den Film im Sisyphos Berlin, also am 29. November um 20 Uhr. Der Film ist das 'Produkt' von diesem Crowdfunding und es ist schön und auch ein bisschen unglaublich, dass der Plan sich tatsächlich zu einer Tatsache entwickelt hat. Hier der Link zur Facebook Veranstaltung , verbreitet das gerne, seid und macht aufmerksam, in diesem Sinne, warme Grüße Laura
23.08.17, 16:28 Laura Heinig
In the past weeks, time run past in an extraordinary way. I have been meaning to inform you sooner; it has all been a bit much, but first things first: the premiere is soon on 16 sept ! We show fragments on the Kaaij ! A website for the movie is born! Many exclamation marks, much excitement. Let me put it in 6 points: 1. The movie is premiering on 16 september in Nijmegen. Mark your calendars and be there! I am looking forward to celebrate with you. 2. The dear Nils Brodersen has joined the team. Under his to the point command, we’ve set up a website for the movie and the whole project. Have a look here . (and this is Facebook) 3. On the first weekend of September (1st-3rd), we will screen fragments on the movie at the Kaaij in Nijmegen from 16:00-20:00. In the weeks afterwards, we will guerilla screen fragments as well in the public space of Nijmegen city (more info follows soon on social media) The student magazine VOX of the Radboud University in Nijmegen interviewed me and wrote about it. Here is the article in Dutch and here in English . As the dear Miro put it: “On Lesbos, where refugees are marginalized, our Laura courageously creates spaces of hope through activism. In a forthcoming documentary, she will not only show us the horrid conditions on the island, but also the power of solidarity, humanity and cooperation through the compelling stories of five women. Read Laura's interview in Voxweb​ and stay tuned for more.” https://www.voxweb.nl/international/former-student-makes-refugee-documentary (via justPeople ) 4. On the ground on Lesvos, No Border Kitchen Lesvos were very engaged fighting for the extremely endangered dignity of people. In order to be able to continue giving out food boxes, they ran a crowdfunding campaign I had the pleasure to make the video for. A good opportunity to use some of the footage shot there. 5. Backdrop: A month ago, we talked about our experiences on “the beautiful prison” Lesvos. The venue was very crowded and everyone listened and watched attentively. Thanks for coming! 6. Finally, I am still editing and finishing the movie. It feels good to be connected still to Lesvos and to carry the reality I’ve witnessed there into the world. I know I might be repeating myself, yet it still remains so present to process this: Even though a lot of the hardship people go through there is depressing, there are those inspiring individuals and communities. The people I have met are extraordinarily frank. I’m looking forward to introduce Cris, Xenia, Alice, Nora and Casey to you. They take us into their lives on Lesvos. They are the heroines of the movie. As there is the new page for the movie now, this is also the end of writing updates here on the crowdfunding page. Please contact me if I may keep you informed via Email as well. → Laura.heinig (@) web.de Until then, hope to see you at the Kaaij and at the Premiere! Thank you: old friends, new friends and strangers for helping, donating, supporting! Im grateful and, yes, touched by that. Yours, Laura //Contact me if youre interested in screening the movie or if you have ideas for distribution//
12.07.17, 18:55 Laura Heinig
Hello! I have been back in the Netherlands for about two weeks now. Time to let some thoughts and emotions settle. I've seen the darkness of enforced EU policy. And I've seen the light of incredible humans, fighters, activists, locals and refugees. The last month on Lesvos was very intense. I was shooting more for the movie than before. Precious ties of friendship and trust made this possible and also all in all gave me more of a direction of what I am doing. At the same time, the dilemma was approaching. I am going to leave this island. I am just going to hop on a boat. For the people stuck on Lesvos* often a far away dream. They keep on waiting. Often in vain. Getting depressed. I was asked, and I also asked myself: „If people have so much time, waiting around, why don't they use it to do something useful for themselves , learn a language or read books?“. Well, some do. But the answer is that this is tremendously difficult with a life in such a limbo. First of all, it is not like you know beforehand what is going to happen. You have no timeline. Your life plan goes from week to week. If you have an official appointment for, say, your interview which means all to you, you go there, prepared and nervous and then you ever so often hear: no, not now, come again in a month. Next, you live in Moria camp. It’s a place that doesn't promote any kind of motivation for anything at all. You spend your day waiting in lines for food which is horrible. If you make proactive attempts to get out of the camp, this cage-like-barbed wire place, you have to have a strong stand. Because police is not happy to see refugees in the city. They stop you, they check you, and even if you have papers that proof that you are on Lesvos legally, you are often taken to the police station, where you spend hours, you have to undress, let them search you for drugs and you can be happy if you're not beaten up. All of this wears you down incredibly. It demoralizes. It tells you: „you are not welcome here“. Or, what I heard very often: „they are treating us like animals“. I have been thinking about that a lot, about this dehumanizing strategy. It is so crazy, how easily one group of humans establishes these kinds of borders. To divide between good and evil. And I have to say, camp Moria looks very scary. This big cage. And it makes you think „wow, dangerous people must be in there“. But no, it is humans like you and me, we are all born free and equal. They just were unlucky enough to be born in poverty, oppression, war, insecurity. To look for refuge, to look for a better life. I keep on being deeply shocked about this. I grew up in Germany, where we made a big effort to digest and learn from the horrors of nationalism and racism, taking responsibility for what we can take responsibility for. And today these kinds of camps exist on the edge of Europe that don’t even pretend to care for humanity. The EU-Turkey deal goes at the cost of countless humans. Detaining them in Lesvos and not letting them leave is a crime against human dignity, is a crime creating depressions and too much pain to bare. Worn down. Lesvos is worn down. Too much pain, for too long, too much powerlessness for too long. In the movie I am editing now, I will try to walk that fine line between the harsh reality and inspiring individuals, who do not give up, who fight like lions to preserve their dignity. I still believe that this is the way to go, that we shouldn't loose hope in humanity. But I als want to make very clear that what is happening on Lesvos is a crisis that comes from the abuse of power and control. Which makes it very hard for individuals not to drown there, if they have not already on their way their in the Agean sea. *I should note that I use „Lesvos“ in a very generalized way. It is a big island and my experiences are centered around its capital Mytilini and camp Moria. Leaving this area, Lesvos is beautiful, with wild nature and friendly locals. Something that most people forced to live in the mass camp never will experience. --------------------------- In two day, on Friday 14th of July, 20.15, my partner and I will give an info talk in the Klinker, Nijmegen . Welcome! ---------------------------
18.05.17, 11:55 Laura Heinig
This was first published on justpeople.nl: Some friends from our justpeople collective are supporting at the greek border for a little over a month now. Laura gives a personal account of what is happening and what they have been doing on Lesvos. We’ve now been here for a month. With one month to go we arrived in the middle of the project. Time for an update! What is going on on the island? Firstly, I have met amazing people and I have learned a lot already in terms of hospitality and culture. At the moment, I am, clumsily, learning Persian. With friends I meet we do a mutual learning thing with German and English. That’s fun! Now about the setting here on Lesvos and its capital, Mytilini: Some things remain the same. The most important to mention here is the endless waiting for a lot of people. Waiting and nothing to do. Doctors without borders published an update recently. They observe depression, people with signs of self-harm and suicidal thoughts. On Lesvos, there is no adequate treatment for this. This matches well with this intense feeling I get here: How can it be possible to leave people who experienced trauma just before (war, misery, dangerous journey) without any psychological care in a state of limbo with nothing to do? Creating the next trauma? “Why are they treating us like animals? Why are we trapped here? I will never forget Moria.”, exclaims Alissa. She just cannot understand why they do not let her go. By now, she lost all hope in a better life in Europe. She would go back to her home country. But no, she is trapped. As around 2000 people more. The perspective on Lesvos is that all NGOS are asked to leave the island. All autonomous living initiatives are under more and more repression. This includes a lot of police checks for no further reason other than looking “refugee-like” (sorry for using this expression, it is a sad truth). Which makes it more and more difficult to leave the camp area of Moria. And in Moria there is tension between the different groups living there (and no counselling), nothing to do and bad food. Three weeks ago, an autonomous living space was evicted by the police. The people who were living there now fear heavy charges. This space was “a home. It was a community.” It was one of the few places, where the inhabitants could decide about their life themselves, where they could live in autonomy. They could cook their own food and share it together. This essential thing, eating and sharing food, is incredibly important here, where you are deprived of all opportunities to make decisions freely. Those are rare moments of relaxation, freedom and laughter. I have felt warmly honored to be invited to food. To eat together, to share. It teaches me a great lesson on hospitality and warmth. Regardless, or maybe precisely because of the sticky prison feeling all around you. The documentary Right now, I am collecting testimonies of people who live on the island. I feel it’s an important thing to do as the hardship of so many people screams of injustice. I am also speaking to very inspiring migrants, activists and migrant-activists. There was a week when I felt sad about everything. And this is a feeling that can catch me and everyone here any moment. Yet I am also determined to take the news from here, the people I meet and the things I learn back to Europe, back to the Netherlands, back to Germany. How do I feel? I believe in autonomy as an essential part of dignity. That is what makes it hard here, because as stated above, everything here points to more control, more repression and more centralization of migrants in Moria. Everything you do here has so many layers. Your privilege is sticking to everything. Every action you take is some kind of a compromise. For example if I meet up with one person to help out or to learn a language together, there is always so many people that you cannot meet at the same time. There is always an advantage for some. And how ever much I engage in the daytime, I am the one who has a rented apartment for the time being here. I can close the door. And most importantly: I can leave this island. I will leave this island soon. So, yes, there is always so many feelings at the same time. I try to let them all in. Last week we were practicing Kung Fu together in a park. Doing sports together. This was very awesome. Breaking the circle of waiting and impotence. What would you like to know? Last Friday, we attended the justPeople meeting in Nijmegen via Skype. Despite those 3000 km between us, we are connected. Across borders. So, so nice. For the time still remaining: what would you like to know? I am happy to build this knowledge bridge together!
25.04.17, 16:03 Laura Heinig
Hello! I am writing from Lesvos. The trip has started! I arrived here with my travel company a few days ago after a drive that took us a few days. The route: Netherlands-Germany-Austria-Slovenia-Croatia-Serbia-Bulgaria-Greece. Especially the borders Solvenia-Croatia (hello Schengen!) and Croatia-Serbia took a long time to get through as they checked every single car. A very nice stop was stopping by our friend in Bulgaria. Just like you, he supported this project :). Now Lesvos. A lot of impressions. The most important thing I want to write about today is the unbearable waiting here on the island for a lot of people and why it is important to support activities, information spreading and autonomous living. I am gathering information slowly and trying to understand, however, I am not an expert and information is also ever changing and sometimes arbitrary, so excuse that if I cannot fully give facts always. What is beauty without freedom? First: Lesvos is beautiful. Paradoxically, you can easily be in the center of Mytilini, the capital, sipping on your tasty cappuccino overlooking the crystal-shining water of the Aegean sea in the harbour. Sure though, if you look for it, you see the hardship, the camps, the poverty. Pretty Lesvos has turned into an island of detention. Even the most beautiful place only remains beautiful, if you are free to leave. For the vast majority of people who have fled their homelands, this is not the case. The EU-Turkey deal means for everyone: it’s complicated. Detentions The good thing is that there are people who do care. People with European passports have given abandoned buildings a good use. They can house the ones in need. There are some who go crazy in the detention center’s, namely Moria’s, conditions and therefore stay outside sometimes. Others have to be very wary not to be controlled by the police. As this can also mean just spending unclear amounts locked up at the police with your mobile phone taken from you. Those are the things I think of “how can this be?” And “isn’t there a law that keeps this from happening?”. Yet, these things do happen. And yes, people are simply deprived of their rights: The fair access to an asylum procedure and the protection of human dignity. The waiting and the hopelessness The horrible thing is that humans are left with no choice. Being sent back to the home country means imprisonment. The EU-Turkey deal means de facto for everyone with the wrong passport (e.g Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and others) that they are either deported their home country or to Turkey. Both options mean imprisonment. Now imagine you worked for months and years in order to flee. You crossed the sea in one of these tiny boats. You’re happy not to have drowned. Yet what then comes is waiting. With nothing to do. Some have been on the island for over a year. Reminds me of Heumensoord, Dutch emergency refugee camp, where we have already observed and accused this unbearable waiting with justPeople. Even RTL, a not very critical TV station identifies their situation as an eternal waiting (in German). They underline the suffering. I usually don’t like the yellow-press-sensation vibe. In this case though, it’s true. It’s just the way it is. I met Samir from Afghanistan. He’s been here for months. Hanging around, waiting. I ask him if he likes sports. Me thinking “don’t give up, you must keep moving and starting with your body is the first thing you can do”. He just shakes his head. If he was somewhere else, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, places he dreams of, then yes: Football, the gym, tennis. His eyes are expressionless, almost empty. “Here, my head is crazy”, his hands in his hair. “I cannot sport”. Fearing the black hole Some still have a bit of hope for at least asylum in Greece. The rest of Europe is anyways closed for everyone apart from Syrians. However, even that is tricky: they are also first sent back to Turkey. There, the promised relocation to the rest of Europe is in fact not happening. At the moment, 11 Syrian Kurds are on hunger strike since five days. They protest against the long waiting time (10 months) and inhumane conditions. They fear being deported back to Turkey. For Kurdish people this would definitely mean prosecution, imprisonment- I don’t want to imagine all the bad things this would mean. Deportation back to Turkey is what most people fear. From people from Bangladesh and Pakistan I have heard that they upon arrival are just arrested for an unclear amount of time to spend in prison. It’s like disappearing into a black hole. Keep busy! Activists fight for dignity What activists here on Lesvos try, is to bring back a little bit of dignity and choice to the ones trapped in this torturous fear and boredom-situation. That is why alternative living in abandoned houses is crucial: for the ones who cannot stand Moria anymore or fear deportation into misery. Cooking and sharing food, teaching each other languages, building DIY benches or making music are fun. And here they are essential to literally prevent craziness knocking on your mind’s door, that starts to get unsettled, living in such a vacuum, living in such a hopeless situation. Autonomous living spaces fear eviction this week The shelters of autonomous living are fearing eviction all the time. Now more than ever. This upcoming week, the police plans and announces evictions and arrests. Being arrested is never a nice thing. But two things here make all of this tremendously worse: Firstly, here an arrest brings you into an uncertain state of imprisonment that is out of sight for a fair and humane treatment. Secondly, some people will just be deported to Turkey where things are far worse. Cater for humane treatment first! Cater for human dignity, stop criminalizing and treating people as numbers that you can push back and forth. It’s a crime against humanity. Protest against the eviction of autonomous living spaces! For many people it is the only place with a shine of hope and dignity they have got. Please share. Thanks. Pictures taken by me: Swing made of an UNHCR blanket in Mytilini, Lesvos. Harbour of Mytilini, Lesvos. With our friend in Bulgaria.
28.03.17, 15:46 Laura Heinig
I'm happy to announce that Alert Fund for Youth granted support for this project! It is a pretty cool organization that promotes engaged, young and independent projects striving towards a more equal world. So, it's justPeople and Alert teaming up, yay! This means that the movie production as well as the screening are more secured. To show the final product to as many people as possible in Nijmegen is dear to my heart. Sometimes some realities just remain in some kind of shell and we continue our daily lives. Whereas more information eventually can lead to more engagement and change! On another note, in the upcoming weeks you can find updates on the justPeople page. By doing so, the reality from the border and the reality in the Netherlands will move closer together, creating cross-border communication. If you want to receive emails about these blog posts, please contact me here or via the justPeople contact form .
21.03.17, 15:27 Laura Heinig
Dear supporters, preparations move forward and here is some news I would like to share with you. I feel like I am already leaving quite soon, as I will be in Germany before then going to Greece. Over the past two days, Dutch newspapers have drawn conclusions from the EU-Turkey deal. Not surprisingly, for migrants these conclusions are not positive. The promised direct transit for selected migrants, categorized by where they come from, is happening very slowly, too slowly. Furthermore, this (not functioning) selection process denies migrants overall a fair access to asylum procedures. Greece is Europe's “ waiting room ”. Everything on hold. A vacuum of time, where human rights move to the background. That is what it feels like from the distance now. I am curious about what we will hear from the people on Lesvos. I wonder what it will be like to be that close to such a blind spot when it comes to human rights. Challenging, enraging, eye-opening- those are adjectives I can write down beforehand. Yet nothing compares to the actual experience. An experience to engage with and to document, which is why we have this project going, powered by your support and interest! One comment about this project on Facebook was “Be the change you want to see” . Which I think is sweet, flattering and more than anything important! With our group justPeople this is a motivational thought that has pushed our actions. Up to the point of now, it has lead to going to Greece for some of us! Tomorrow, 22nd of March, I will talk more about that at an info-and film evening in the Klinker Nijmegen. I invite you warmly to this talk! The project presentation will be short and imbedded in (short) movies about Lesvos and the journey of a family from Syria looking for refuge in the EU. In case we cross the 2000 € funding goal (!), any extra money is a valuable support for the cost of accommodation. Probably this will be around 600 € for two months (one person) and 1200€ for two. Surely, we also fund parts of this journey ourselves. However, I see every support also as a great recognition. The newspaper clipping is taken from the Rheingau Echo, the region in Hessen, Germany, where I grew up.
16.03.17, 13:52 Laura Heinig
The funding goals is reached! How amazing is that! I believe a lot in this project. But I honestly wouldn't have thought that so much generous support would back me up so quickly. 1500 Euros is a lot of money and a great support towards a decent camera to capture realites, people and emotions down there in Greece. And now we're heading towards 2000 Euros; the extra 500 Euros bringing us to Lesvos. We will probably be three people driving there. 2800 km on the road! Quite a distance, but as we heard from locals and initiatives, it's very useful to have a car on the island. In the next few days, I will update you here on how the planning is going. I have had a lot of interesting conversations. Ideas and contacts come up that I would never been able to create on my own. Crowd power! For now one example of how a friend shared the news about the project. Thank you supporters! Your very grateful Laura (Deutsch hierunter) Elections everywhere. No idea who to vote for? Strategic, ideological, protest? Difficult, since you have no clue what comes out of it anyways. So instead of taking too much time ruminating about the right choice, why not skip this whole theatre and support direct action. There are many ways to do so, but for now I strongly recommend you to support Laura in making a documentary about the current situation. Laura is a great photographer, an aspiring documentary-filmmaker and a great great friend. So giver her your euros. Contrary to your vote, these will definitely not be wasted! Überall Wahlen und keine Ahnung wen man wählen soll? Strategisch, aus Überzeugung oder Protest? Schwierig, schwierig..man weiß ja eh nicht was am Ende rauskommt. Also anstatt zu viel über das Wahlspektakel zu grübeln, wie wärs einfach mal direkte Aktionen zu unterstützen. Das kann man auf viele Arten. Heute will ich aber mal ne persönliche Empfehlung aussprechen: Unterstützt Laura bei ihrer Dokumentation über die Situation in Lesbos! Laura ist ne super Fotografin, angehende Dokumentarfilmerin und ne sehr sehr gute Freundin! Als her mit euren Euros! Die sind im Gegensatz zu eurer Stimme an der Wahlurne sicher nicht verschwendet! Pictures taken by me, the first one in Chile two yeary ago at the train tracks in Rancagua. The second one two weeks ago, when I kept on refreshing this crowdfunding page.