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Film Screening and Panel Discussion: This is Exile: Diaries of Child Refugees

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 19:15 to 21:00
Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS

On the 8th of December we were joined by 65 students for the film screening of 'This Is Exile: Diaries of Child Refugees', a Save the Children funded film which offers a glimpse into the lives of Syria's child refugees forced to flee civil war. The film is a stunning portrait of the effects of conflict on children and how childhood is impacted as they deal with loss, hardship and displacement and adjust to new surroundings.

The film screening was followed by a half hour panel Q&A. Unfortunately, the Senior Government Relations Advisor from Save the Children (Dorothy Sang) was unable to attend on the day. However, we were lucky to be joined by Dr Tejendra Pherali and Veronica Ferreri.

Dr Tejendra Pherali is a senior lecturer in Education and International Development at UCL Institute of Education, leading an inter-sectoral research study into educational and health responses to the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan and Lebanon. In 2014 Tejendra was awared the LIDC Interdisciplinary Seed Fund grant for his project: 'An exploration of educational and health response to the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan and Turkey'. More information about this grant can be found here.

Veronica Ferreri is a graduate Teaching Assistant at SOAS and a fourth year PhD student researching how the relationship between the Syrian state and its “displaced” citizens (both entitled of the refugee status or not) shapes their life experiences in Lebanon and trajectories of future migration through official documents, national laws and governmental practices together with tactics of warfare and counterinsurgency.

The panel discussion opened with Tejendra discussing the politics of development and aid, and how education in conflict and refugee settings often falls to the bottom of the agenda. Veronica, who has spent three years living with refugee communities in Lebanon, discussed her own experiences and the concept of 'home' and the symbolism of documents for refugees. The discussion was lively, as the film had given a lot of food for thought and the audience had many questions. Challenges faced by child refugees and how best to overcome these was talked about at length, including how the school system in hosting countries has not been adapted for refugee children and how technology could be used to solve this.  

Watch the trailer below:


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