As part of the Day of Solidarity with Refugees, the Emigration Museum in Gdynia would like to extend an invitation to a screening of Those Who Feel the Fire Burning, directed by M. Knibbe, on 15 October, preceded by a talk by Daniel Witko from the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. The meeting will start at 17.30.
The Day of Solidarity with Refugees is an all-Polish initiative to manifest openness and support for immigrants currently arriving in Europe. The campaign has the support of public and non-governmental culture institutions and human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, the Stefan Batory Foundation, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews or the European Solidarity Centre.
Refugee or immigrant fate forms a large part of the history of Polish men and women over the last several hundred years. Millions of Poles set off into the wide world for a number of reasons: war, political persecution, or, most importantly, pursuit of a better life for themselves and their children. Emigration was often tainted by dramatic circumstances while at other times it took form of a planned journey, it was, however, invariably connected with the experience of separation from the old world and the challenges posed by a new country and environment. This phenomenon is the focus of the permanent exhibition at the Emigration Museum in Gdynia, and is also tackled in the film Those Who Feel the Fire Burning, directed by Morgan Knibbe. This unconventional poetic documentary portrays the fate of refugees, particular individuals, as well as a serious unresolved social problem which modern Western Europe is facing today.On the Day of Solidarity with Refugees, the Emigration Museum in Gdynia, together with the other partners in the campaign, wishes to speak about those values which unite rather than divide and to break stereotypes towards people who flee war-torn regions.
Participation in the meeting is free of charge, with passes available from the Museum's ticket office before the screening.
Those Who Feel the Fire Burning │dir. Morgan Knibbe │Holland 2014 │ 75 min
Those Who Feel the Fire Burning is a hypnotic journey through subsequent circles of hell, as experienced by immigrants who wish to reach wealthy Europe. The film starts in a boat sailing through a stormy night. We hear the frightened voices of people who realise they are about to die. The spirit of one makes it to the "better world" and becomes a guide through the streets of a Greek town which resembles an anti-utopian futuristic polis. Desolate, ruined streets, people waiting to legalise their stay and find any job, and armed police patrols storming immigrant districts. Amongst the nameless everyday mass of refugees, the film focuses on particular individuals and recalls the stories of their longing for home, family and friends.
Daniel Witko – lawyer in the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights' Legal Aid forRefugees and Migrants Programme; trainee solicitor with the Warsaw Bar Association,grant holder of the European Forum Alpbach in Austria, participant in the legislative work on the Act on Foreigners of 12 December 2013, author of publications on the theme of migration.
The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights was established in 1989 by former members of the underground Helsinki Committee in Poland and is at present one of the largest non-governmental organisations in Poland. Its activity includes the monitoring and research of the observance of human rights, providing legal aid to Poles and foreigners, conducting strategic litigation and other actions in the public interest. The Foundation cooperates with international human rights institutions and since 2007 has held consultancy status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights' Legal Aid for Refugees and Migrants Programme came into operation in 1992. Its core objectives include free legal advice to foreigners who report to the Foundation and the undertaking of litigious actions. The Programme's objectives include the monitoring of the adherence of the Polish authorities to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the 1951 Geneva Convention's resolutions on Refugee Status, the European Convention on Human Rights and Polish legislation concerning foreigners. The Programme's lawyers prepare reports on legislation projects concerning foreigners and are involved in information and training activity on the rights of refugees and other foreigner groups.