- Slovene Philanthropy and Zavod Voluntariat
- Contact Name:
- Uros Krasnik
- Contact Email:
Since 2010, Slovene Philanthropy and Zavod Voluntariat celebrate the World Refugee Day (20th of June) in Slovenia with the Festival of Migrant Film. The organizers strive to offer our local audiences a selection of insightful and provocative films focused on topics related to migrations, asylum and refugees.
The Convention on the Status of Refugees from 1951 defines a refugee as a person who »owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it«. (Convention on the Status of Refugee from 1951, preamble, 1st chapter)
Within the festival we wish to further expand the traditional concept of a refugee, as defined in the Geneva Convention on the status of refugees (1951), and put the spotlight on contemporary causes and shapes of refugeeism and migration. The causes that force refugees and other groups of migrants to leave their home are diverse and stem from unbearable living conditions and intolerance or even persecution of individuals or groups based on their personal beliefs or characteristics. Personal characteristics and circumstances, such as political and religious convictions, ethnic and cultural background or sexual orientation, on one hand and the inability to live a decent life related to uneven social and economic development of countries and regions, on the other, remain central reasons for (forced) migration. Still, the new century brings along new factors, for instance climatic and other environmental changes, which produce new waves and directions in the global migration flows.
Migration is (becoming) one of the central global trends of the 21st century, therefore we dedicate the festival to all people who are forced to leave their home and seek protection and an opportunity for a decent life outside of their home countries.
These tales, told through films, and the insight, provided by the invited guest speakers, do not only highlight the struggles and the hardships that migrants face in their quest to find and fully settle in their new home. They remind us, that the intercultural transfer of knowledge and the vivid circulation of creative energies bring some of the fundamental impulses to the social development in the contemporary world. The multicultural environments represent the testing grounds for the exploration of relations between different traditions and for the search for new forms of coexistence.
For this reason, the vision of the festival remains a bright one! Its purpose doesn’t lie (only) in providing relevant information; it strives to promote understanding and acceptance of diversity and, therefore, contribute to fostering of a tolerant, inclusive and equitable society.