8 Borders, 8 Days screening highlights a refugee’s journey from Syria to the US

PUBLISHED: 12:10 31 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:49 06 September 2017

Syrian refugees come in on a boat from Turkey. Credit: Tara Todras-Whitehill for IRC

Syrian refugees come in on a boat from Turkey. Credit: Tara Todras-Whitehill for IRC


The special screening of the documentary will raise funds for the International Rescue Committee

Despite the refugee crisis raging on in the not-too-distant Mediterranean Sea and at the Turkish border, the plight of the displaced has long ceased to make the headlines.

Organised in partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Institute of Light, the London Fields coworking space Work.Life will be screening Amanda Bailly’s documentary 8 Borders, 8 Days tracking the journey of a single mother-of-two Sham from Syria to the US.

Bailly says: “Sham’s story is one that can cut through fear and misinformation, and humanise the issue... She is a strong woman determined to find a safe space where she and her kids can be self-sufficient and thrive. Her story is highly relatable: like all parents, Syrian parents want what is best for their children.”

With no answer to her application for resettlement in the US, and every other path to safety closed off, a smuggler’s raft to Europe was the only way out for Sham and her children.

Bailly noticed Sham’s strength and determination when the young mother had just arrived in Greece: “We were outside of a sports stadium among Greek riot police and more than 10,000 refugees who had rushed to the scene to obtain government permits that would allow them to continue the journey to Europe. Sham approached a baton-wielding officer and demanded he make a separate line for women and children away from the men, and he did.”

Ana Bernardo of Work.Life says: “Together with the IRC, we decided together to screen the film to raise awareness of the plight of people caught up in the European refugee crisis, and to support IRC-UK’s response to the situation. The venue can host 50 people and tickets are on sale now.”

With public interest in the refugee crisis dwindling, small-scale local initiatives such as Work.Life’s screening of 8 Borders, 8 Days are all the more crucial to keep the issue at the forefront of our minds.

Tickets are £12 with all proceeds going to the IRC UK. The screening will take place at 6pm on September 7, The Institute of Light, 376 Helmsley Place, E8 3SB

Tickets here


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