Natalie Gravenor | Monday November 25th, 2013
The situation of refugees and asylum seekers from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Southeastern Europe in Western European countries remains an urgent humanitarian issue, as recent events in Lampedusa have shown. In Berlin, the presence of official housing for asylum seekers and the autonomous refugee camp on Oranienplatz in the Kreuzberg district alike have been met with resistance from locals (incited and instrumentalized by extreme right parties such as the NPD), but also an encouraging wave of solidarity and support.
The Refugees, a music project featuring musicians from Afghanistan, Dagestan, Gambia, Iran and the Ivory Coast who have fled their home countries, is the subject of Julia Oelkers’ documentary “Can’t Be Silent – Refugees On Tour”. The film follows the band as they tour Germany with their mix of rock, hip hop, reggae and traditions from the members’ native countries. Their music helps them break out of a marginalized existence and draws attention to Germany’s flawed asylum camp system.
“Can’t Be Silent: The Refugees On Tour” is screening on November 25, 8 p.m. The Lichtblick Kino, Kastanienallee 77, Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg as a special benefit event. One half of the 10 EUR entrance and all of the proceeds from food sales go to the camp on Oranienplatz. The camp could possibly be evacuated by the district administration of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg as early as this coming week . District mayor Monika Hermann has found alternative accomodation in Wedding, but some refugees have recently moved to the camp from stationary quarters where living conditions were deemed highly unsatisfactory.
If you want to donate cash, food or clothing to the Oranienplatz camp, please check out this website.
Watch the Can’t Be Silent trailer here