Films: Stories without borders

Under the umbrella of ‘Stories without Borders: Displacement Economies’, these short documentary films are made by young filmmakers across our five research locations. In an intensive 10-day, hands-on filmmaking workshop, the filmmakers developed, produced and edited their films.

The results are playful, thoughtful and unexpected reflections on the themes of the Protracted Displacement Economies research project, including: the care economy; sharing; mutual aid; informal support systems; monetary and non-monetary aid systems; employment (or lack thereof); and the role and perception of community-based organisations in communities that have witnessed several waves of displacement and migration.

All workshops and films in each location will be completed by 2023. Further information about how we used film as a research method is available here.

For screener links of the completed films below, please contact Co-Investigator and Producer Yasmin Fedda:


Cycles (2022)

A film by: Shawki Al Hallak; Anas Al Sheikh; Nisreen Hazineh

We have fallen and are trying to stand. We keep on going. The world keeps spinning and we spin along with it in search for our daily bread in the current economic situation. We have become like the pieces of plastic recycled and refined, we are spinning to find a better reality.

9:04 mins; Arabic with English subtitles

Cornershop Beats (2022)

A film by: Bassam al Khaled; Abdul Malik Al Ali; Saja Awad

In a family run grocery shop in Saida (south Lebanon), a father and son try to make their dreams come true.

7:47 mins; Arabic with English subtitles

Neighbourhood of Creatures (2022)

A film by: Kareem Nofal; Raneen Alomar; Adnan Alghati

A reflective, unexpected documentary film made up of vox pops on the streets of Bourj Hamoud and Al Dawra in Beirut – asking passersby what it means to belong.

5:43 mins; Arabic with English subtitles

Democratic Republic of Congo

Stephanie and Her Chicks (2022)

A film by: Simeon Yoshua Yuc; Hugette N’Simire Kanumbu; Joseph Elimu Buesha

After becoming displaced from another part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and finding themselves in Goma, Stephanie and her family start a new life with three chicks.

6:32 mins; Swahili with English subtitles

Migrations (2022)

A film by: Pasqueline Mwamini Nguba; Johnson Kusimwiragi Moninga; Jean-Baptiste-Ciza Kamungo

Impressions of life and trade in Kitchanga, a small crossroads town in rural eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

6:45 mins; Swahili with English subtitles


The Translator (2022)

A film by: Zewdu Lingerh; Dagim Mesele; Mikias Dawit

Nasteeho came to Addis Ababa as child after becoming displaced from Somalia. Speaking no Amharic at the start, she is now a translator for Somalis in Addis Ababa.

5:49 mins; Amharic and Somali with English subtitles

Naima (2022)

A film by: Biruktawit Godana; Biniyam Gulelat; Emebet Girma 

Naima was a comfortable woman until war came and destroyed everything. Now she juggles housework, breeding goats and selling at the market to support her family.

6:51 mins; Amharic and Oromo with English subtitles

Myanmar (filmed in Thailand)

She Faked It Till She Made It (2023)

A film by: Saw Taulk; Nay Nay; Saw K’Paw Htoo; Angela Aung

Running an online shop for teas and medicines, Sucee has made a business for herself after being displaced from Myanmar to Thailand. As a trans woman, she has also found some acceptance that she did not at home.

3:23 mins; Karen with English subtitles

I Had Dreams, But (2023)

A film by: Eim Pakao; Saw Void; Saw Lin Htet; Eileen May

Dreams shattered and slowly reborn in displacement.

2:40 mins; Burmese with English subtitles

The Bitter Embrace (2023)

A film by: Saw Simon; Saw Thet Thet; Saw Ner Doo; Naw Jasmin

The Bitter Embrace portrays the life of a man in Mae Sot, Thailand, who falls into the grips of alcoholism after being displaced by the military dictatorship in Myanmar. As he struggles to find work, his family grapples with the consequences of his addiction, and the lasting impacts of displacement.

 3:27 mins; Karen and Burmese with English subtitles


Comrade Obaid (2023)

A film by: Atif Zeb; Khush Bakht; Roshana Waqas

Obaid is a teenage jack of all trades. Coming from an Afghan refugee family living in Peshawar, Pakistan, he navigates the challenges of being outside his homeland, supporting his family, and finding a sense of belonging.

6:13 mins; Pashto and Dari with English subtitles

The Labour of One’s Own Hand Is Beautiful (2023)

A film by: Zala Nisar; Ihteram Khan; Wasiullah Khan

The coal industry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, is a site of economic activity and migration. An Afghan businessman works in partnership with his Pakistani friend and creates labour opportunities for locals and Afghan refugees alike, despite the economic challenges he faces.

6:47; Pashto and Dari with English subtitles