Event / 22 Jun 2023

Film Screening: Samos on Fire - Songs in Asylum

Fareid Atta

To celebrate Refugee Week 2023 (19th - 25th June) Ffotogallery are proud to hold a special screening of the short film Samos On Fire - Songs In Asylum on the evening of Thursday 22nd June at 6pm.

We will be joined by director Fareid Atta for an introduction to the film and a Q&A session afterwards.

Free Entry - Booking required via Eventbrite.

Film synopsis:

Part of solving the refugee crisis in Greece is showing Europe what these amazing individuals have to offer. This film is an attempt to show the positive sides of life as a refugee, and gives a small insight into the individuals themselves.

To show how music, and creativity has the power to transform lives. To show how refugees never lose hope in spite of the uncertainty of the asylum process, their living conditions and their dreams of a life outside the camp…

In a refugee camp in Samos, a group of musicians from Africa and the Middle East meet up to make music. There is no stopping their sessions even though they have had to contend with fires, earthquakes, and worst of all…the bewildering asylum process.

The style of the documentary is cinema verité and the mode, poetic. The footage aims at creating a juxtaposition between the chaotic and dire conditions of the Vathy camp, and the joy of singing, musical instruments, and dance.

Ultimately, the documentary aims to portray the lives of these musicians and artists with all the accompanying sorrow, disappointment, but also the glimmers of gaiety in the camp.

Samos on Fire Director, Fareid Atta, said:

“I see the doc as an attempt to show the positive side of the refugee' experience, but more importantly — to show the hopeful attitude individuals brought with them to every moment — no matter how dull or soul-destroying that moment turned out to be.”

About Artist

Portrait of Fareid Atta

Fareid Atta

I spent eight months in Samos, Greece, in 2020, where I worked for an NGO by the refugee camp as an Arabic interpreter and as a freelance journalist. Seeing the disparity between my lived experience of the refugee crisis in Greece and its depiction in western media inspired a lifelong interest in the humanitarian affairs of the region and migration issues. I was also in awe of the refugees I met there and their talents and resilience so I decided to make a short-documentary about them.

I'm British born and raised, read English Literature for my undergraduate studies and graduated from University of Edinburgh in 2019 with a Master's degree in Middle Eastern Studies with Arabic.

After volunteering for the NGO Med’Equali Team in 2020, I returned to the UK where I worked for a think tank, and I am currently working as a journalist for Cambridge News.