In search of Heroes #1

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Location: Vluchtkerk (West-Bos en Lommer)

 We Are Here started on September 4, 2012 with some tents in the garden of the Diakonie in Amsterdam. A handful of people came together to seek for shelter. There the idea started to make themselves visible and to start a demonstration. They got their inspiration from the demonstrations and Tent camp in Ter Apel and also by the Arab Spring.

The group got national attention by starting a tentcamp in Osdorp, where it grew to around 90 people and attracted a lot of media and supporters. It was a very cold winter and the people lived in leaking tents only warmed up by the hot coffee and tea that was brought by some neighbours constantly. We saw a new phenomena: demonstrations organised by refugees. On November 10 a big demonstration walked through the city of Amsterdam from Dam to Stopera. It inspired many. The eviction of camp Osdorp at November 30 resulted in the arrest of all refugees. Most of them were ‘released’ or actually put back on the very cold street again on the same evening. Some of them were put in prison.

In search of HeroesOlfa Ben Ali films a series of intimate portraits of refugees and volunteers from De Vluchtkerk, Amsterdam, in order to paint a picture of the quiet desperation of those who have been denied asylum in the Netherlands.

The portrait of Mama Fatima, is the first in the series of “In search of Heroes”.