Documenting the Mediterranean Catastrophe: An interview with film-maker Jakob Preuss (Part 1)

Sunday 19th April 2015 brought the highest loss of life yet seen in the ongoing Mediterranean refugee crisis as an estimated 800 people drowned when the boat they were on capsized 60 miles off the Libyan coast. Prior to this latest disaster Ed Naylor spoke to documentary-maker Jakob Preuss about his recent experiences filming with migrants seeking to cross into Europe. Jakob’s award-winning films have ranged in subject matter from Iranian youth (Torn Iran, 2003), Bosniak returnees a decade on from the Srebrenica massacre (The Unburied War, 2005), and most recently the politics of football, oligarchs and the post-Soviet economy in Eastern Ukraine (The Other Chelsea, 2010). His latest film, entitled ‘Europe’s Borderlands’ (Europas Grenzen), is due to be released early next year. In the first of a three part series, Ed and Jakob discuss the background and development of ‘Europe’s Borderlands’, and the current migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. Your previous films have tended to focus on places and themes that are over-looked or ignored by the mainstream media, though in the case of Torn Iran (2003) and The Other Chelsea (2012) subsequent events brought a great deal of attention to the questions your films raised, with the ‘Green […]

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BBC Afrique: writing Africa’s news

Dr. Joanna Warson is currently in Senegal working at the BBC Service Afrique Dakar bureau. In this post, she shares some of her experiences there so far. I walked out of Dakar airport at about 11pm on Sunday night. I was exhausted and feeling a little anxious. Would my pre-arranged taxi be there to meet me more than 24 hours after my scheduled arrival time of 9pm on Saturday? A 24 hour delay in Madrid and a two hour queue to get my Senegalese visa[1] had upset my carefully laid plans. And, although I had been in touch with my contacts in Dakar to advise them of my late arrival, I knew that I wouldn’t relax until I was sat in the back of the taxi sent for me by the BBC. My eyes scanned the sea of unfamiliar faces. There were lots of men shouting “taxi” at me, but how was I ever going to find my taxi driver? I was starting to meet a bit panicked when I saw a sign in the crowd saying “Joanna Warson BBC” and heaved a huge sigh of relief. Within a few moments, my suitcase was in the boot of the taxi […]

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