I got in contact with refugees in Croatia, their reality and circumstances in which they live has shocked me deeply. I participated in the project as I wanted to face reality and not just from behind the screen, be in direct contact with these people and what they are going through and to see what the government is doing for these people over there so they can get out of this situation. Participating in this experience has given me the opportunity to open my eyes, seeing another reality and helped me realising, yes, that I am very lucky with the life I am living today and that I look differently at my life. Yes, the project has had an impact in that every day I am conscious that I am lucky.
In my video I talk about someone I’ve known for years and who’s story has touched me. I want to emphasize on the images I’ve used that are under the Creative Commons license to support my story. They are symbolic and it wasn’t always easy finding them. I’m proud of the result and it gave me the chance to experiment on how to tell my story with interpretable images.
Today, I would like to tell you a story about a woman. A woman I met five years ago. The first time I have seen her it was hard to imagine how she has lived before. She explained to me that ten years ago she left her country to live in Belgium. Illegally. Her decision was a real emotional shock but also financially. She explained to me that one day when she was working in a restaurant, a police officer arrived and discovered that she was in the country illegally. The officer arrested her immediately. She spent the night in jail. The next day she was released, but under a deportation order. Since that day she was so scared to be checked again and afraid to work again. Although she tried, the fear was too strong. As she had no income her sister offered to live with her. Weeks later her situation started to become unpleasant and uncomfortable. For herself because she had to depend on someone else and for her sister because she had one more mouth to feed. Some time later, she met a man. She fell in love with him, and him with her. In him she saw a glimmer of hope, and he knew her situation. Then he proposed to her. Sadly the state judged their marriage was fake and declined their request. Although they were a little disappointed, the man proposed to the woman to live together even if they were not married. One night, they heard a knock at the door. Violently. They get up to see who was knocking at their door. It was the police. They came to take her because she didn’t have papers. They were surprised to find her pregnant. They couldn’t take her. They told her that they are going to come back to take her after her pregnancy if she doesn’t present herself at the police station. After that, they decided to make a new request for their marriage. Fortunately, it got approved. The family is now happy and counts four members. The dad, the mom and a little boy and a little girl.