British romance novelist Ida Cook (1904-1986) wrote over a hundred books for Mills & Boon under the name Mary Burchell
, including the thirteen-book, opera-focused Warrender saga
. The passion she and her sister, Louise Cook, shared for opera carried them across oceans and countries in the years prior to the outbreak of WWII, and when Ida took account of her writing career's financial success, she was by struck by a "terrible, moving and overwhelming thought--I could save life with it." So beginning in 1937, she and Louise helped save dozens of lives by entering Germany disguised as themselves: eccentric opera fanatics. Louise Carpenter's "Ida and Louise"
looks into the lives of these two sisters, these "lives which swung dizzyingly between the purest fantasy and the utterly real." [more inside]
posted by mixedmetaphors
on Jul 31, 2014 -
“When international organizations declare a crisis over and refugee camps are closed, what happens to those who remain?
” Close to one million people fled Libya as the violent fights of the Arab Spring began and a civil war ensued in 2011. Choucha, a refugee camp close to the Libyan border in Tunisia, housed many of them and was officially closed in June 2013. Roughly 400 refugees still live among the remains of the UN-camp. A short glimpse into their lives
. [Vimeo. Partly German, English starts at 1:18] [more inside]
posted by travelwithcats
on Jul 6, 2014 -
When Australian prime minister Tony Abbott paused on the lawn of Parliament House to engage a group of high school students in conversation, he may have been hoping to impress some future voters. However, the questions fired at him by the 14-year-olds - about asylum seekers, gay marriage and why he has appointed himself Minister for Women - seemed to take him aback
(warning: camera is level with Abbott's crotch.)
The students involved
later participated in the March in March
– a series of protests against current government policies which took place in 29 locations across Australia over three days. Despite over 100,000 turning out, the protests was little coverage by mainstream media – leading to criticism
even from within
the media’s own ranks
posted by andraste
on Mar 18, 2014 -
Australia in 2013. We have forgotten our origins and our good fortune, we are blind to our own selfishness. In place of memory we cling to a national myth of a generous, welcoming country, a land of new arrivals where everyone gets a fair go; a myth in which vanity fills the emptiness where the truth was forgotten.
-- Julian Burnside writes
on refugee policy and alienation in Australia [more inside]
posted by deadwax
on Sep 18, 2013 -
Minneapolis photographer highlights Somali-American success stories
For years, any time photographer Mohamud Mumin turned to local television channels or to newspapers for news about the Minneapolis Somali community, what he found left him disappointed.
Mumin said the media highlights the dark side of the community and abandons the many success stories and positive contributions Somali immigrants are making in their new home -- a remark many in the community agree.
“There are many great things the community is doing,” he said. “Why can’t I see those stories in the media? Why only the negative ones?”
Mumin, 36, recently took matters into his own hands. In 2010, he began capturing the images of 13 Twin Cities Somali-American men, documenting their stories in “The Youth/Dhallinyarada,” a multimedia project that focuses on the effort these men are making to improve the lives of those around them. (“Dhallinyarada” means “the youth” in Somalia.) [more inside]
posted by jillithd
on Jul 18, 2013 -
I am Hazara Close to 1,000 Hazaras have been killed in targeted attacks and shootings in [Quetta] the capital of Pakistan’s largest province [Baluchistan]. The indifference towards the atrocities has forced this shrinking community to take escape routes and gamble between life at the promised land and death at the ocean.
Dawn, Pakistan's largest English-language daily, puts together an essay accompanied by short videos (subtitled in English).
posted by bardophile
on Nov 21, 2012 -
They Fled from Our War.
"Among the many consequences of the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the plight of millions of Iraqi refugees is seldom mentioned. The stories of such people as Burhan Abdulnour, whom we met in Sweden in 2008, have hardly been told."
posted by homunculus
on Apr 19, 2010 -
The United Nations Refugee Agency has a Flickr page
with nearly 3000 photos neatly sorted into over 150 sets
, most often by country, though sometimes by other themes, such as photos taken by refugee children
, life in a refugee camp
and mixed migration
. There are also news sets
, sorted by month. Some of the countries featured are ones that many associate with humanitarian disasters, Timor-Leste
and The Democratic Republic of Congo
, but there are also photosets from countries that few associate with refugees, Panama
posted by Kattullus
on Sep 17, 2009 -
Oh, I say old chap--do you mind not going all "immigrant
" on me, and spitting all over the place? Thank you very much
. (how Britain proposes to solve the problem of integrating its migrant population)
posted by hadjiboy
on Feb 6, 2008 -
is a site that lets people who are refugess within their
own countries tell their life stories
– in their own words. "The narratives in these pages are valuable complements to the official information on conflicts which governments and international organisations offer. These stories deal with the real lives of real people. The narrators share their personal experiences, their sensations, hopes and dreams, and the impact for them of being forced from their homes. The first IDP Voices oral testimonies project took place in Colombia
. IDP Voices from further countries will be added as the projects progress." The life stories are in English and Spanish and can either be read or listened to. You can download the whole book of life stories here
posted by Kattullus
on Nov 8, 2007 -
A mud eruption probably triggered by oil exploration has been making thousands of Indonesians' lives miserable since May.
posted by thirteenkiller
on Sep 14, 2006 -
500,000 Lebanese citizens are now homeless.
That's out of a population of 3.8 million, according to Juan Cole. People in Southern Lebanon have received leaflets warning them to leave, but are trapped in their villages under Israeli bombings. The IDF has opened a 60-km front on the border, using tanks to probe Hezbollah. Meanwhile, a ceasefire remains... elusive.
I normally take the position that both sides are excessively violent, but this is a pretty sad picture of what's going on in Lebanon.
posted by spiderwire
on Jul 21, 2006 -
What is the difference between refugees and expelled persons? Refugees leave home and land for fear of what would happen to them, or they were driven out. Expellees are told to leave their home country, often immediately. Their added and deep trauma is broken trust
"Modern Wars and the Civilian Experience
as shown in my experience in World War II", by Greta Zybon
posted by PenguinBukkake
on Sep 17, 2005 -
More than 30 feet of water stood over land inhabited by nearly one million people. Almost 300,000 African Americans were forced to live in refugee camps for months. Many people, both black and white, left the land and never returned. "When Mother Nature rages, the physical results are never subtle. Because we cannot contain the weather, we can only react by tabulating the damage in dollar amounts, estimating the number of people left homeless, and laying the plans for rebuilding. But . . . some calamities transform much more than the landscape."
No, not Katrina. The Great Mississippi flood of 1927. Author John M. Barry in his definitive work on the subject, "shows how a heretofore anti-socialist America was forced by unprecedented circumstance to embrace an enormous, Washington-based big-government solution to the greatest natural catastrophe in our history, preparing the way (psychologically and otherwise) for the New Deal."
The author is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Center for Bioenvironmental Research of Tulane and Xavier universities (whose web site is *understandably* not answering right now). <Heading for the library to find this book>
posted by spock
on Aug 30, 2005 -
Southeast Asian refugees,
like other immigrant populations, have had a mix of experiences and successes since they began arriving in the U.S. in the 1970s. Among the refugees, two groups, the Mien
and the Hmong
, tribes who populate the mountains of Laos and Thailand
, fled when the Communists took over. Today, some
Mien, also known to some Asians as the Yao, continue to live in China, where they are a recognized minority group
and elsewhere. Large numbers of the
have settled in Portland, Ore., and California, and appear to be doing pretty well. The Hmong
settled primarily in Minneapolis and St. Paul because their military leader, Gen. Vang Pao
settled there. You may have read about the
Hmong man who killed six white hunters
, claiming racial animosity, but before that occurred, the Hmong themselves have experienced one tragedy
posted by etaoin
on Mar 29, 2005 -
Lost Boys of Sudan
is an amazing documentary about refugees from Sudan's Darfur conflict
finding haven in the US. It's premiering on PBS tomorrow. Their website has local PBS listings as well as locations and times of upcoming screenings in the US. From sleeping on the ground in a UN refugee camp to working at WalMart in Dallas, the men in the film undertake an enormously difficult, but ultimately life-saving journey.
posted by scarabic
on Sep 27, 2004 -
The USA is sending the refugees from Monserrat
back home. Why? Because the threat from their volcano is no longer regarded as "temporary", but "permanent".
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Aug 20, 2004 -
Coast Guard pulls over floating, propeller equipped '59 Buick driving to Miami
- manned by Cuban refugees. "For four of the 11 people on board, it was not the first thwarted attempt to leave the communist island in a bizarrely converted vintage vehicle." (from ABC
news) Last year, they tried to do the same thing in a converted '51 Chevy Truck: "The crew members of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter could not believe their eyes...Chugging along at a steady 13 kilometres per hour in the Straits of Florida was a bright-green 1951 Chevrolet truck...."
(link to story, as reprinted in Free Republic, alas ) Sadly, the Coast Guard sunk the Buick - which looked a bit like a WW2 amphibious landing craft. Here's a picture
, on the blog of a Christian Evangelical (scroll down for story) who argues that the refugees are worthy of a special exception to US immigration laws, for their pluck and innovative brilliance.
posted by troutfishing
on Feb 7, 2004 -
'My name is Saranda and I am 13 years old. I moved to Liverpool from Kosovo three years ago ... '
posted by plep
on Jun 25, 2003 -
Coming to America!
Rejected by several countries, this relatively small tribe that has been living in slavery and in violent refugee camps is coming to the US. NY Times reg. req.
posted by Plunge
on Mar 10, 2003 -
Just a defacto "Nope".
"Refugees" from the US seeking asylum in Canada will no longer have any hoops to jump through. The hoops are to be replaced by impenatrable legal barriers, otherwise known as "inking the deal".
posted by crasspastor
on May 7, 2002 -