AUK and GUST host the IOM Global Migration Film Festival

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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 26: IOM Kuwait concluded its celebration of the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) with two events in Kuwait. The events took place on two consecutive days (18th and 19th of December 2022) and were hosted by the American University in Kuwait (AUK) and the Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST).

A photo from the panel discussion.

Both events comprised of screening of two short films on the topic of migration, followed by an in-depth discussion with the students during panel discussions. The GMFF is an initiative launched globally by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 2016, where it takes the opportunity to features films and documentaries that capture the promise and challenges of migration, and the unique contributions that migrants bring to their new host communities. For decades, the IOM has been working with migrants and receiving communities to reduce prejudice and prevent xenophobia through the facilitation of positive interaction between migrants and host communities as well as targeted campaigns to promote a more balanced narrative on migration.

Collaborating
“This year comes as the third consecutive year of collaborating with AUK to raise awareness on migration through the GMFF; for better outreach, we are also glad to collaborate with GUST for the first year for this initiative,” said Mazen AboulHosn, IOM Kuwait’s Chief of Mission. “IOM recognizes the importance of and takes pride in its collaboration with academia to advocate and raise awareness on migration, and factors that push people from their home, which may either be economic, political, cultural or environmental”. William Andersen, Chair of the Art and Graphic Design Department and Associate Professor of Art and Graphic Design at AUK said “We wish to thank the IOM for bringing the Global Migration Film Festival to AUK for the third year in a row. Our department is honored to collaborate with the IOM on this prestigious event that is not only strikingly creative in the various filmmakers’ approaches every year but importantly raises awareness about the lives of migrants for our students.”

Improve
“In both films, the main characters gained a sense of agency to improve conditions in a difficult situation, symbolically with the ball as a way to bridge a barrier, and through the activities that young asylum seekers pursue to connect to their communities,” said Claire Giddings, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at AUK. “While one film is fiction and the other documentary, they both increased awareness of the lives of migrants, it is important to consider and discuss the context in which the films were produced. “ The two short films that were screened this year covered topics of asylum seekers and migrants who have fled from war and are seeking for a better place in the world to live. “The film screening and the panel discussion provided GUST students with a unique opportunity to discuss issues surrounding migration in Kuwait in a very accessible way. We hope to do more fruitful collaborations like this with IOM in the future.” Rania Al-Nakib,- Assistant Professor at the department of humanities and social sciences at GUST. This year marks the fifth year of the IOM missions’ celebration of GMFF in Kuwait.

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