December 18th marks International Migrants Day, first proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000 to recognize the scale of the global migration phenomenon. Celebrated internationally, it provides an opportunity to acknowledge the positive contributions of migrants and their fundamental role in sustainable development.
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Turkey celebrated the occasion through the Global Migration Film Festival with 10 events across seven cities during 12-18 December. The festival kicked off on 12th December at Gaziantep Municipal Auditorium with a public screening of “A Walk on the Tight Rope”, a documentary by German producers Sandra Budesheim and Sabine Zimmer, it tells the complex story of four asylum seekers navigating the asylum application process in Germany.
On 14th December in Ankara, IOM hosted a photo exhibition, film screening and panel discussion at the French Institute. Films from around the world were screened followed by an interactive panel featuring: Fariba Nawa, journalist and author of “Opium Nation”, Abdi Deeq, Somali migrant and artist, Tayfun Sargin of the Turkish Coast Guard and Ece Aldinç of IOM Izmir.
Film screenings continued at the French Institute on Saturday 15th December in the afternoon and evening and were open to the public.
The photo exhibit, curated by IOM photographers in line with this year’s theme for International Migrants Day — “Migration with Dignity” – was on display and open to the public during 15-18 December at the French Institute. It illustrated the challenges migrants face and celebrates their contributions to host communities in Turkey, reaffirming migration as a driving force for progress and development. The exhibit told the story of how migrants and refugees – whether on the move or living locally, from Şanlıurfa to İzmir – find peace and a stable life.
Events throughout southeastern Turkey took place in Sanliurfa, Hatay, Adana, and Gaziantep in partnership with local municipal community centers, the Turkish Red Crescent and Kirkayak Cultural Center.
“Films have the power to show different facets of life and help audiences cultivate deeper empathy for migrants. Our events will aim to create a better understanding of migrants’ realities, needs, perspectives and capacities,” said Lado Gvilava, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Turkey.
For more information, please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 533 698 7285, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org