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Wednesday , September 28 2022

AUK professors participate in 3rd Annual Global Migration Film Festival

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 12: Four professors from the American University of Kuwait (AUK) participated in the 3rd Annual Global Migration Film Festival in Kuwait. An event run by the United Nations Migration Agency – IOM the festival screened the film Woman’s Country that related issues of migration and was followed by a panel discussion centered on the fundamental themes of the film.

Screenshot of the panel discussion with the festival’s attendees.

Attended by members of the AUK community and the public, the University’s four professors – Dr. Juan Fredrico Velez, associate professor of communication; Dr. Shareefa Al-Adwani, assistant professor of political science; Dr. Claire Giddings, assistant professor of graphic design; and Dr. William Andersen, associate professor of studio arts and graphic design – explored various points of the film with other members of the panel. Some of the topics covered in the discussion included the filmmakers’ other films which followed the same topic of migration, the various audiences they targeted, and a discussion of other films and documentaries that depict the challenges of migration.

Describing the film’s motif, Dr. Claire Giddings said, “I am very impressed with the diverse selection and poignant, timely themes of the GMFF 2020 films. Woman’s Country is an especially engaging view of the emotional and social upheaval displaced families try to navigate, and the pivotal and often unsung role women have in rebuilding a sense of security and community. The narrative of the film is fragmented with footage of astronauts and banal views of objects and locations. The interruptions mirror the disjointed reality the women in the film face as they remember the home they left and try to make a new start in another country.”

Following the closing of the festival, Dr. Shareefa Al-Adwani expressed her gratitude for being a part of this festival, “The IOM’s GMFF 2020 generously invited and hosted a diverse panel of local scholars to watch the film Women’s Country and discuss the implications of both the film and its content with the larger community. The interdisciplinary conversations offered connections between a transnational issue, refugees, and our everyday lives through an artistic medium, underscoring the importance of expression, empathy, and the need to continuously advocate for the advancement of people’s rights around the world. I would like to thank the IOM for the opportunity to take part in this significant discussion.”

The Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) features films and documentaries that capture the promise and challenges of migration, and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities. The goal of the festival is to pave the way for greater discussion around one of the greatest phenomena of our time. The Global Migration Film Festival aims to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants. The campaign also strives to strengthen the social contract between host countries and communities, and refugees and migrants.

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