One of the miracles of life; that however tough the circumstances, a little face will pop out to remind us all about the meaning of courage. The adult world sees only the complexity of the "refugee crisis". But seen simply, it is about kids. The idea that we can't make things better for them, is a mindset without that same courage this little girl showed - with a cheeky face pulled amongst the madness...
A quick shout out to say thank you for the EXTRAORDINARY community support we are receiving on the translation side - thank you guys! The film is now subtitled in English, German and Arabic, and Dutch, Italian, French and Spanish are ongoing. Amazing! We are now looking next if someone would like to help in Greek? That is next on the list, and of course if you'd like to help in a further language, please let us know. Thank you again for the support & wishing all a good day ahead, The March of Hope Team
Another night in Idomeni. It had rained and rained and it was as if, momentarily, the high energy of the camp; that energy particular to survival & the propulsion of the spirit to move forward, had dissipated. What remained were just shadows moving in different directions in the rain, spirits drained, only just the true misery of the situation seeping in, along with the muddy water around the ill equipped tents - or at least those lucky enough to have them. What strikes me in recollection, was that it was one of the few times i witnessed a true dearth of hope. Perhaps the spirit needs also to pause, to look again at the brutal reality before it can fight again. I've often wondered how i'd cope in such a situation. And truthfully, i can't conceive what it must be like to stare into such hopelessness. It reminds me that every action one gives, no matter how small, which leads to the betterment of another's life, is not just worth it, but what the whole world hangs onto at this time. And it counsels that to loose hope in our own lives (those who have not lost all that is) is an indulgence - it is up to us to cultivate hope, to be a vehicle for it, and embrace the challenge of delivering it.
I had the good fortune to speak with this extraordinary woman @laurajansen on Lesvos. In this moment and with these few words she seemed to embody something of the crisis on our shores. I felt that her words, about this being the challenge of our generation, were moving & resonant & channeled something i had long felt but could not find the words for. Many people have given a lot, and Laura is one of those whose work i marvel at - for the length, heart & consistency of her commitment. Please support @movementonthegroundofficial - and thank you for the ongoing work.
Inspiring words written by the Dalai Lama on the role of creativity in the wider world. It is a theme central to the films heart in two ways. First in witnessing how so many artistic spirits amongst the refugees carried not bags but paintings or musical instruments with them. And second utilising every creative tool available during the fund raising of the #boatforsara . Here are the @dalailama 's words, which I saw at Herman Vaske's "Why Are You Creative" exhibition today - "Sentient beings in general - and particularly human beings possess great intelligence. Thus positive and negative thoughts arise ceaselessly. In order to transform the intelligence for a beneficial purpose it is extremely important to possess altruistic attitude and sense of responsibility" ❤️
As Friday night comes in i'm sending out a special thank you to all the people out there volunteering. All the people giving some of their lives for the betterment & protection of others. I know you're out there, and that you won't ever see this little post. But its your spirit & actions tonight which will revolve the world a little, and make for a little betterment tomorrow. I think its facing the darkness with that attitude that inspires the rest of us. And so, even though it might be a thankless task, your actions are having impact worlds away in seemingly disconnected places. And even more so, the impact of helping someone today lasts in the memory & heart for a life time. And in that, our capacity to change the world is in all our hands, every moment. The question we simply have to ask is; are we willing to use them?
There were just so many blessed spirits along the way. I know that the tendency nowadays is to get lost in the politics, the reasons, the phenomenon of things. And all valid & necessary in their own ways. But i also return to what connects us, and that is our humanity and our sharing of this planet. Its to dam easy to forget or misplace our brother & sisterhood, the miracle of life itself. Why we get so lost in what divides us is anyone's guess, but i will always see it as the noise on the surface. These guys spoke very little English but we would continually encounter one another in Idomeni. Slowly we became very friendly, mainly through the bizarre comedy of our attempts to communicate with one another. This day, for the first time in forever, the sun came out & i was invited for afternoon tea, something i attempted to explain that i had considered only a most English of traditions. The explanation failed, but the laughter tasted even better than the tea. I cannot fathom such spirit, expressed in such circumstances. But it remains the education of my life. Humanity; ultimately it is laughter over a cup of tea, which matters...and is all we need to connect us 😊
We support #rechtaufflucht - the right to seek flight & shelter from violence: for the safety of children, for the preservation of your culture, for the protection of your family. The idea of "The Human Right" was created at the lowest point of civilisation, after WW2. It was enshrined in its declaration in order to prevent such abominations ever happening again. Central to that ideal is the idea that if you are facing mortal suffering you have a right to asylum. It is an idea our society is predicated on. In that, helping victims of war is at the centre of what Europe is, and what being a European means. We stand with the right to flight, with refugees and with our friends in organisations like @seawatchcrew @jugendrettet @proemaid @intervolvegr and so many more - who daily do their bit to help refugees, and in that represent the best of us. Keep on.
How can one describe what one has seen? How can one release what one does not want to have seen? I returned from my journey conflicted. How to approach a subject composed of elements so much vaster and more complex than the sphere of one's own life. In some sense i was going through a "resistance to the call". That sense of what one can oneself contribute, never being enough. And yet conversely, and in parallel awoke a different understanding. A sense of responsibility to do justice & to give shape to the stories i had been trusted with. An understanding that it is up to us to find a way to make a contribution, rather than to let our own doubts crush us into inertia, inactivity, indifference. I realise now that there is no "getting it right". There is only acting with love and choosing to be a part rather than an observer. The film is as such a personal exploration, because there is no dam way to treat human suffering like a nature documentary; there is no looking & not touching once your heart is participant. I want to use this film to promote a deeper conversation, a greater humanity & i hope some fundraising for the agencies on the ground. It is just a film, but if it could be used as a tool for something greater than itself, then it will have finally completed its journey...
Cracking on here with the release, with our boss & mascot @corathevizsla directing the release for 2018! We've had a lovely response on the help for subtitling, thank you all. Still a way to go on the release but making positive steps daily. If you'd like to be a co-ordinator in a local cinema or lovely venue in May, pls drop a line! Thank you to our friends & community - so very grateful for all the help so far 😌
Dear friends, we are slowly setting up the release of the film and its been a bright start to 2018. For now I would like to ask our friends & community for help. The film is so far subtitled in German, Arabic and English. We are hoping to keep pressing on but we are dearly in need of support. The film is a zero budget, all love production. If you or any one you know would like to help with subtitling, please message us. We have screenings just confirmed in Spain & Italy, so those are the immediate priority! Thank you in advance all! Photo is from Lesvos, where fishermen prepare to clean up discarded boats.
Berlin waking in the colour of hope today; what a fantastic sunrise. A reminder that every day offers us the chance of renewal, to play the game again, to put the best of us into the little moments, and together, inch things forward. Keep on & a great day ahead all x
A little yellow van & many lovely spirits. These boys had been stuck in the port of Piraeus for 70 days. We came across them on our way to Lesvos, sitting in a shelter near the ships. We'd missed our own ferry due to the farmers strike in Greece and being unable to head South, had holed up in a parking lot in Thessaloniki for a few days. What really struck me about these boys was that they somehow remained in good spirits, overcoming not just the length of their stay, but also the grim reality that in being Moroccan, had next to no chance in passing the ever tightening border security in the North. They'd be viewed as "economic migrants", a term it seems to me loaded with presumption, the idea that its somehow wrong to want to make a better life for yourself, or to aspire to a place where a multitude of new possibilities exists. It seems self evident that inequality is growing world wide. And i looked at these lads and thought dam, that instinct in you to find something new, to reshape your own lives, to tackle your own fate anew; that's something i can relate to. And surely if my own birth had led to different origins, i'd gladly have joined your troop on your adventure. I know there is no easy solution, sometimes no solution at all. But i resolved early on, not to making the mistake of seeing things over simplified. Or of being deaf eared in my imagination to the question, "what would i do if it were I in your shoes?"
"You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It's in your spirit or its nowhere." Ursula K. Le Guin | The Dispossessed
Greatly enjoying the ethic, spirit & photography of @selene.ena.photo - and her support & stand for @jugendrettet #freeiuventa Personally I just can't quite fathom how a ship which has rescued 14,000 people can be locked up. Pls support on FB - a small but telling way to contribute in 2018
Lucky to experience New Years day in wonderful Ho Chi Minh City - what a sea of generosity & smiles to greet the New Year! Wishing friends far & near a wonderful 2018 - we're enjoying following all your work & thank you for the support of our own journey. Happy New Year! X
"The motivation of a second chance in your life is the first motivation of a human being". Basti & I met Georgios in a restaurant in Thessaloniki. We'd driven straight from Berlin but couldn't get to Athens because the farmers were striking & the highway was blocked by tractors by day & at night by great fires which lit up the darkness; portending something of our trip. Later in our journey we'd return from Lesvos to Athens and found 1000's of Afghan refugees who were sent back on buses when the border was closed at Idomeni. Georgios's words about the meaning of Greek civilisation somehow became brought to life, animated, personified - as time after time we saw normal Greek people (many elderly) giving out food, sandwiches and empathy. This latest little clip combines the two, and i hope brings alive these separate but intrinsically connected experiences. Editing the "The March of Hope" i realised quickly that to convey the story as i experienced it meant trying to intuit & understand the meaning between things; whether parallel or conjoined. As such it is no objective reportage but a subjective grappling. During the shooting i felt all objectivity break away in me, i guess one of the teachings of empathy or feeling someone else's suffering is to realise you are part of it, it is you, you are it. It's the breakdown of objectivity which deeply colours the documentary. If it is its failing i am fine with that, its a small price for the realisation that we are all participant on this earth, and moreso, to have been activated. The lesson here was of the primacy of kindness as a response to a humanitarian crisis. Kind wishes all x
I just wanted to repost this from @theworldwidetribe because a) i'm loving discovering their work b) they make the lovely point about the importance of sharing & talking about important stories we find. I know many people feel unempowered and frustrated about their own capacity to contribute (here included!). However, despite all the chaos out there, i feel so powerfully that there is something new and broad manifesting in our humanity. Central to that is the recognition that we are ALL a part....not apart. In my own life I feel i've arrived at the recognition that the people at the forefront of responding to the Crisises - aid workers, locals, volunteers - cannot & must not be left alone. It is up to us to now find ways to support their work, to amplify & support it. That can happen near or afar. But if anything for 2018 i'd put out - every tiny action you make, no matter how small, has great great power. So please, keep loving in the face of fear, please remember your own beauty & power. There is no one whose hands are not needed before what is faced. @theworldwidetribe my hat is off to you & if a tiny repost is something tonight, that is enough for me. Kind wishes all, we know what is within us, lets use it....