People desperately or resignedly waiting for help in the heat and the dust – this is the image most of us associate with refugee camps. But that’s just part of the real story. If you look a little deeper, you’ll find out that everyday life in a refugee camp isn’t actually that much different from yours or mine. People look for work, go to school, get married, argue and have fun. This interactive documentary allows us to experience something of life in a camp. Camp Domiz in northern Iraq is a refugee camp with some 64,000 inhabitants, mostly Syrian Kurds. A photographer, an illustrator and a journalist explored the camp from A to Z. In a multidimensional mix of sound, drawing, photo and film 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. Such as Ahmed, who is skipping school to start up a bird trade, the busy circumcision doctor Shixmous or army deserter Ahmad, who set up a tuk-tuk garage in front of his tent. Welcome to Refugee Republic.
Jan Rothuizen, Martijn van Tol, Dirk Jan Visser
Bruno Wille Felix for Submarine Channel