Watch ‘Trace’ on rabble for two weeks! is thrilled to bring you a free screening of Trace, exclusively on rabbleTV.

It will run from June 22 to July 6, 2020, and you can watch via the link below.

Public accounts on the 2015 European refugee crisis covered the issue through an individualizing gaze placed on the refugee subject. The refugee in suffering, an experience witnessed by us all, as a spectacle, from the distance: Images of crowded tents, boats carrying overflowing numbers of people, children dying on Mediterranean shores. Trace turns the gaze outwards, scrutinizing the “space” of the crisis in which people seek refuge.

On the one hand, there is the everyday of the “space.” The ordinary Greek island life (Lesvos) with not much to do in the early hours of the day, with people anchoring their fishing boats, some going for a swim, some strolling for a walk. On the other hand, the presence of the refugees is no longer a sine qua non presence. The space of the island changed from hosting refugees’ presence to hosting their absence.

Trace figuratively marks the absence of the refugee crisis by symbolically creating a visual topography of the refugee crisis, seen through the space containing the crisis and juxtaposed to narrative accounts of people involved in the crisis. It features interviews with several key stakeholders including: Anwar Nilufary, a recognized refugee in Greece; Bridget Anderson, former director of the Centre for Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford, UK; Philippa Kempson, grassroots activist, manager of The Hope Project — Refugees Support Lesvos; Ivory Hackett-Evans, former field officer at Lighthouse Relief, an organization providing emergency assistance to boat arrivals based in Skala Sikamineas, Lesvos; Lorraine Leete, lawyer at the Legal Centre Lesvos within the Mosaik Centre, Mitilini, Lesvos; and Salim Nabi, Toronto resident and former translator for the Kara Tepe Camp in Lesvos, Greece.

Trace is an independent documentary project. It was filmed in 2017, in the Greek islands of Lesvos, Samos and Chios; in Athens, Greece; Oxford, United Kingdom; and Toronto, Canada. It was part of a multimedia exhibit curated by the University of New Brunswick Art Centre in January and February 2020 under the project titled Trace: Tracing the Space of the Refugee Crisis. 

The dissemination of Trace: Tracing the Space of the Refugee Crisis project was made possible through the financial support provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.