Chechen Refugees in Poland wasn’t Forgotten on World Refugee Day
On the occasion of World Refugee Day, there were a “Polish-Chechen Meeting” festival in Bialystok city and refugee film festivals in Warsaw and Krakow cities of Poland.
On 20th of June we celebrated the 15th World Refugee Day. On this occasion, the Polish Humanitarian Organisation (Polska Akcja Humanitarna) prepated to “The fourth Refugee Film Festival” at the Kinoteka cinema in the capital of Poland, Warsaw city on June 20-25,2009. The idea of this Festival is to attract attention of the society to the problems of the refugees, people who due to persecution were forced to leave their countries and seek refuge abroad. The films showed the subject of the refugee and migration from various perspectives, starting from their causes and finishing on adaptation in a country in which they found asylum. The aim of these films was to broaden the knowledge of viewers with regard to tolerance and cultural diversity. Films presented during the Festival provide the audience with the reasons why refugees live their homeland and why they have to look for the shelter abroad. The viewers will have a chance to take a closer look at the obstacles refugees have to deal with. The programme of the Festival includes both documentary and feature films. On June 25,2009 there was screened, among other films, the documentary “Polowa mnie (Half of Me)” directed by Justyna Tafel, a Polish director about a Chechen family which applies for legal residence permit in Poland. It is 20 minutes short documentary movie and released in 2007. The Merzkoev family have been living in Poland since 2004. All their motions to acquire the refugee status were rejected. They can be deported anytime. The main characters of the film are Chechen Aza, Ruslan, Akhmad and Hava who are the members of Merzkoev family.
Another refugee film festvial was at Mikro cinema in Krakow city of Poland. On June 22 and 24,2009, there was screened “Zula z Czeczenii (Zula From Chechnya)” directed by Agnieszka Arnold, a Polish director. It is a 50 minutes documentary movie and released in 2005.
“Fundacja Edukacji i Tworczosci (Education and Art Foundation)” organized a culture festival which was calling as “Spotkania Polska-Czeczenskie (Polish-Chechen Meeting)” on June 18-21,2009 in Bialystok city of Poland. There a were short movie which is prepared by a Chechen asylum seeker, an exhibition which was calling as “Polacy i Czeczeni – to co nas laczy (Poland and Chechnya – What does unite us)”, examples from Polish and Chechen cuisines and a competition by Caritas with the theme “Moj przyjaciel Polak – moj przyjaciel cudzoziemiec (My Polish Friend – My Foreign Friend). During th festival there were dance shows of Chechen children dance group “Lovzar” which was created by the Chechen children who live in refugee centers in Bialystok.