In the News / January 2018

Film Explores the Lives of Refugees

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Photo Courtesy of Jose Carlos Teixeira

With the assistance of USCRI Cleveland, filmmaker Jose Carlos Teixeira explores the thoughtful fragments of interviews with refugees in his new film “ON EXILE: Elsewhere Within Here”.

“There’s a whole public, social, political narrative about people with these conditions or with the status of ‘refugee,’” Teixeira said. “What we have is this discourse that is not taking into consideration their agency.”

The refugees interviewed in the video come from Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Iraq, and Teixeira sought to ask: “How do we represent experience without patronizing or speaking on behalf of others?”

He filmed people in their homes or spaces they felt the most comfortable and as opposed to what is typically seen in a documentary, the name of each person is not seen until the end. At the film’s first showing in August 2017 in Cleveland it was called, “a remarkably beautiful document that peels away layers of cliche and stereotypes to reveal the radiant humanity of [these refugees], who come from countries torn by civil war or the fight against ISIS, the Islamic State.”

“What I’d like to see from my potential spectator,” Says Teixeira, “is a process of self-analysis… Enter in the films in a subjective way,” he said. “Analyze yourself and think about the way you are, the way you conduct your life, the way you perceive others, the way you conceive the world. That would be my ultimate goal.”

The film will be on display at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art starting March 10th of this year.

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