How does it feel to be a mother with children or a minor traveling thousands of kilometers and crossing international borders along dangerous routes? What does it really mean to find yourself at the mercy of violent police officers and smugglers? If you are interested in answering these questions, support the production of Violent Borders, a documentary that gives voice to the most vulnerable refugees along the Balkan Route.
SUPPORT “VIOLENT BORDERS”, PROMOTE FREELANCE INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
After the closure of the Balkan route, thousands of refugees got stuck in Serbia. The country became what has been defined as the “Balkan Calais”. But after several months of intense media coverage, attention decreased sharply. In March 2017, we were in Serbia to report what was going on. We traveled extensively across the country, interviewing refugees who had been stuck there for months. We worked on this project as freelancers, self-funding our trip and all the relative expenses. The result of our journey is Violent Borders, a collection of painful testimonies, that shed light on life inside Serbian refugee camps.
What we need now is your contribution for crossing the finishing line, covering the costs of the final phase of editing and post-production (purchase of an original soundtrack, graphics and animations, color correction, audio mix and sound engineering, subtitles and translations). If you are willing to become our producer, you will be supporting freelance investigative journalism, the type of storytelling we need when the lights of mainstream media go off.
‘VIOLENT BORDERS’ IS ALSO A COLLECTIVE CALL FOR JUSTICE
By backing this project, you will contribute to report serious abuses perpetrated by border police of EU countries against refugees along the Balkan route. In particular, our focus was on women and minors, who have been harassed, ill-treated, beaten up and imprisoned. But finding women willing to speak in front of the camera was extremely difficult. Often husbands or male relatives were ready to speak on their behalf and women themselves were too scared to tell their stories. Some felt ashamed for having been subjected to different forms of violence, others feared the social repercussions of their testimonies.
However, this was not the case for everyone.
After several days conducting interviews across the country, a group of women agreed to talk to us. They did so, in defiance of general social pressure and the peculiar stigma connected to violence (especially sexual violence) in their community. They were angry and exhausted and wanted their stories to reach as many people as possible. Supporting the production of Violent Borders, you will also support their call for justice.
WITH ‘VIOLENT BORDERS’, ABUSES AGAINST MINORS AND WOMEN WILL REACH THE PUBLIC
As many reports show, children caught in crossing the borders illegally are beaten, robbed, attacked by police dogs and pepper-sprayed. Some of them are as young as 14 years old. In the Serbian capital, we met many of these minors, often traveling alone . “We’re trying again and again, until we’ll reach our destination”, 17-year-old Sulaiman stated, after having being pushed back by the Croatian authorities. In March 2017, many of them were living in the barracks, an informal settlement behind Belgrade central station. Although Serbian authorities have demolished it, around 200-300 minors still sleep rough around the same area. The evidence show that they represent a highly vulnerable category within the refugee population. Becoming one of the producers of Violent Borders, also means contributing to make their stories heard by a larger public.
We want to make the best documentary possible, and with your support we will reach this goal. We need to raise funds which will cover the editing and post-production phases. In return for your help, we will thank you publicly and your name will appear both in the credits and on our social media.
Be part of this project and support not only freelance investigative journalism but also the respect of human rights. Donate to raise awareness on people’s suffering and contribute to eradicate the systematic abuses against refugees along the Balkan route.