Now that we are living through a humanitarian calamity of historic proportions with individuals facing complex and painful processes in their adaptive pathways to European societies, we believe films can and should more often convey successful stories of refugees’ social inclusion in their newly adopted homeland. But is it really so?

Have the negative social beliefs surrounding refugees been replaced by those of social inclusion more in tune with developments in multicultural societies? Are the achievements of former well-included refugees into EU societies, where they live today, sufficiently or prominently displayed enough, highlighting a central modelling role, that newcomers’ can aspire to?

RefugeesIN is a European project supported by the Erasmus+ Programme and devised by partner organisations from Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Ireland, Greece and coordinated by AidLearn, Portugal. RefugeesIN stands for adult learning opportunities to social inclusion by critical analysis of European cinema and documentary film making on inspiring refugees' life stories. The Project offers an innovative cinema-based Package to professional staff working with refugees for use in their activity. Cinema is used as a tool for breaching stereotypes and portraying actual and inspiring life stories of well-included former refugees and having a modelling role for the newcomers’ social inclusion. Within the RefugeesIN Cinema and Media Workshop in partner countries, 12 short documentaries portraying and illustrating  successful stories of social inclusion of refugees/asylum seekers have been produced.  

Last 6th November , Cineteca Nazionale (National Film Archive) in Rome hosted the 1st Italian RefugeesIN Conference & Film Festival. Cineteca Nazionale hosted the screening of a selection of Documentaries produced within the RefugeesIN Cinema Workshop. The screening was followed by the Panel Discussion: "Challenges and Strategies for Social inclusion".

The Project Coordinator is pleased to invite you to participate in the International Conference & Film Festival Portugal 2018 - Cinema for Social Inclusion, to be held on the 22 (9:00 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.) and 23 of November (9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) 2018, at the Auditório da Biblioteca Orlando Ribeiro, Estrada de Telheiras, 146, Lisbon.

Prior registration is required until 15 November at: https://quest.aidlearn.pt/639714.html?lang=en

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Dear Irene,

thank you for this interesting article. 

Maybe you have heard from it already but in Belgium we have an organisation who is doing similar work: http://www.cinemaximiliaan.org/ - they started as a poo-up cinema near the Maximiliaan Park in Brussels where a lot of newcomers were staying in an improvised camp when arriving in Belgium. And over the years they have evolved and even have their own studio and production house. Just like RefugeesIN, it gives power to refugees to create and tell their own stories and indeed breaching stereotypes.

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