Posted by: Charlie | August 12, 2009

Small is Beautiful: Images of Local Communities

Life in a Refugee Camp by UNHCR. Eritrean refugees in Shimelba refugee camp, Ethiopia via flikr UNHCR / F. Courbet / December 2008     Life in a Refugee Camp by UNHCR. Eritrean refugees in Shimelba refugee camp, Ethiopia via flikr UNHCR / F. Courbet / December 2008

Life in a Refugee Camp by UNHCR. Eritrean refugees in Shimelba refugee camp, Ethiopia via flikr UNHCR / F. Courbet

I am excited by a recent  film release, which affirms my belief that small is beautiful, that local communities can mobilize to support each other. Last night “Home Across Lands” opened at the RI international film festival. This magnificent piece  documents the global trek from an Eritrean refugee camp in Ethiopia to an immigrant community in Providence, RI. From where “life is on hold” to a  where the future may look better than the past. In their disrupted homes, these refugees are dependent upon outside aid. Although RI is amidst a serious budget crises, the union’s smallest state is an exemplary case of a local communities ability to create opportunity.

The film embodies the essence of global citizenship through local collaboration. It brings together ambassadors, senators, local politicians, and nonprofit leaders to make a case for immigrant communities, specifically advocating for the dignified vision of these Eritrean refugees. In few other states, let alone nations, can a local film company bring together diverse actors to promote the freedoms of people half way around the globe. Transition is far from easy, but given community support through the International Institute of RI there is hope to build new lives in this small but tight-knit state.

After checking out the trailer here, I encourage looking at a January article in Newsweek about how one immigrant family in Lewiston, Maine has catalyzed transformative change to rebuild the once downtrodden streets of Lewiston.

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Responses

  1. Hi Charlie,
    Thank you for the kind words — I really appreciate your support and encouragement. I will pass this along to the folks at IIRI, I’m sure they would love to read this as well.
    Thanks again,
    JL


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