Refugees focus of exhibition to mark UN migrants day

Award winning screenwriter Tony Grisoniis Pic: Longplayer

Award winning screenwriter Tony Grisoni Pic: Longplayer

The Whitechapel Gallery in Tower Hamlets held a multi-media exhibition exploring the topic of migration and refugees on the eve of the United Nation’s International Migrants day.

The event showed stories about refugees and migrants using film, music and other media.

The main feature was the screening of In This World directed by Michael Winterbottom which tells the story of two cousins fromAfghanistan as they struggle to reach the UK from a Pakistani refugee camp.

The film was introduced by award-winning screenwriter and Hackney resident of nearly 20 years, Tony Grisoni. He told Eastlondonlines: “Working on In This World was an incredible experience, probably one of the best filmmaking experience I have ever had. A big reason for that was because we were engaging very directly with something that was of huge importance, vast migrations of people.

“The production took the film crew from Pakistan through Iran and Turkey and into Europe. Although it uses actors, the film paints a realistically stark picture of the tribulations facing refugees.

“I think the film asks you to put yourself in the position of someone who leaves family, friends and country of birth to put yourself in the hands of someone you don’t know not knowing if you will die or even what will be there at the end.”

He believes the country is caught up in the largest refugee crisis since World War II.

Speaking of the enduring crisis within Syria, where an estimated nine million have been displaced and many have died attempting to find sanctuary across the sea, Grisoni said: “It’s a vast humanitarian problem gong on and we should play a part in that helping to make things as comfortable as possible for these people.”

The event also included a presentation of photographs taken by Gideon Mendel, a highly regarded photographer known for tackling global issues in his work.  Grisoni and Mendel were joined by two singing groups, the Trad Academy Sea Shanty Choir and Woven Gold.

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