Six short films ( 5 minutes to 20 minutes) focus on the experiences of people who have migrated under the age of 18 from 1930 to the present day to East London – Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham. Four short films ( 6 minutes to 32 minutes) explore experiences of welcome or non-welcome from across the UK, both from the perspectives of child migrants themselves and those that care for, or care about, them such as lawyers, teachers, religious leaders and therapists.
The films can be screened independently from the website or contact us if you would like us to send a copy or support in curating an evening including with those who are featured in the films. Two of the films ” Seeking Sanctuary on a Scottish Island” about Syrian children on the Isle of Bute and “I Am Well Here” about young migrants in Norwich are not on the website. If you are interested in viewing or screening these please contact Eithne Nightingale on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out our YouTube channel or see our films below.
Child Migrant Stories – Voices Past and Present – Original 2016 Launch
Voices Past and Present (10 minutes) is a collage of child migrants’ powerful voices about the reasons for leaving, journeys, arrival and feelings of home – from Ireland in the 1930s, India in the 1950s, Caribbean in the 1960s, Bangladesh in the 1970s, Turkey in the 1980s and Somalia post 2000.
Child Migrant Stories – Voices Past & Present – 2017 4K Anniversary Edition (not available on mobile devices)
“Passing Tides” ( 18 minutes) is the story of Linh Vu who escaped Vietnam by boat with her father in the 1970s. Linh, her father and the other passengers were picked up by a British boat just as they were running out of food and water. They were taken to a refugee camp in Singapore and then to Thorney island on the south coast of Britain. Linh and her father settled in Hackney and were joined by Linh’s mother and siblings five years later.
“Ugwumpiti” (20 minutes) is the story of a young boy, Maurice Nwokeji, who survived hunger and bombs in the Biafran war in Nigeria with his younger brother. “Ugwumpiti” is the name that the children made up to describe the one meal of day provided by the Red Cross and that saved their lives. Eventually Maurice’s parents, who were in London during the war, tracked down the boys and brought them to London. “Ugwumpiti” was nominated as the AHRC BAFTA Research Film of the Year in 2017.
The film’s soundtrack is entirely music by Maurice and his group One Jah.
“Life is a Destiny” ( 15 minutes) is about Argun Ismet Imamzade who was born in 1949 in Limassol, Cyprus. After his parents left for England he lived with his grandparents, his brother and his 3 step-brothers from his mother’s first marriage. Their home was bombed in the conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots following independence from Britain in 1960. After some months in a refugee camp, and a very interrupted education, Argun, aged 13, and his older brother sailed to England to join their parents. Argun carried with him a family photograph album, going back several generations. He had hidden it behind a metal cabinet when the house was being bombed and then rescued it from the rubble.
“Home” (10 minutes) draws on child migrants’ feelings of home and belonging – from a child who came on the Kindertransport scheme for Orthodox Jewish children in the 1930s to a child who came from Communist Poland in the 1980s to a child who came from Brazil post 2000.
“The House That is Not There” ( 5 minutes) is the story of a return visit of Henry Bran to El Salvador where he was a child soldier and from where he had to escape to London when his life was in danger. During his visit he sat on the wall outside his old home dressed in white. He gave his old friends and neighbours quite a shock.
The story is animated by Gabriela Bran, Henry’s daughter.
“Child Migrants Welcome?” ( 32 minutes) explores the welcome received by unaccompanied child refugees both historically under the Kindertransport scheme before World War Two and today. It uncovers the implications of the present UK government’s immigration policies and procedures on the young people’s legal status as well as the campaigns led by Lord Dubs, who came over on the Kindertransport, Safe Passage and others to support child refugees.
The film is being shown in conjunction with the campaign Our Turn, marking 80 years since Kindertransport, to encourage local councils across the UK to pledge 10,000 places for child refugees over the next ten years from Europe and the conflict regions of the world. But the future is uncertain – existing schemes are due to close in 2020 and it is likely that any announcement will now be delayed until a new government is elected and final decisions made about Brexit.
“I Don’t Understand Scones” (10 minutes) Child migrants and teachers from Sidmouth College secondary school including from Syria, Poland and Turkey talk about the welcome they have received in this seaside town in Devon, what they like and don’t like and their feelings of home.
“I am Well Here” (6 minutes) Sue Skipper, Chair of Norwich International Youth Project and the young people who use the project talk about the benefit of the weekly sessions. Some have come to Norwich with their families but others have travelled on their own across Europe, some spending time in camps in Calais and Dunkirk. We are not intending to publish this film on the website but you can contact us if you wish to organise a screening.
“Seeking Sanctuary on a Scottish Island” ( 15 minutes) Syrian children, who have come over as part of the Syrian Resettlement Programme (VPRS) and their teachers on the Isle of Bute talk in broad Scottish accents about the welcome they have received on this island off the west coast. We are not intending to publish this film on the website but you can contact us if you wish to organise a screening.