Refugee Republic is an online documentary about everyday life in Domiz Camp, a Syrian refugee camp in northern Iraq. Around 58 thousand predominantly Kurdish-Syrian refugees have sought shelter here, gradually transforming the camp from a temporary refuge to a makeshift town where people live and work, go to school, start a business, get married, argue and have fun.
We’ve all seen images of refugees desperately waiting for help, but that is just one part of the story. There lies an entire world behind the images you see in the media – a world that is not all that much different from yours and mine. Visual artist Jan Rothuizen, journalist Martijn van Tol and photographer Dirk Jan Visser explored Domiz Camp from A to Z, together with web developer Aart Jan van der Linden they brought to life its inhabitants and places in a multidimensional mix of sound, drawings, photo and film.
Refugee Republic allows you to explore and experience something of everyday life in Domiz Camp through beautiful hand-drawn maps, photographs, and short video impressions. Scroll through audio-visual narratives, wander through drawings enriched with soundscapes recorded on the streets and in the alleyways of Domiz Camp, and meet some of its residents. Such as Ahmad, who skips school to look after his bird stall; the busy circumcision doctor Shixmous, the mechanic Mahmoud, who set up a tuk-tuk garage in front of his tent, and Fatma, a teenager who dreams of finding her big break as a singer on Youtube.
Refugee Republic is a SubmarineChannel production in coproduction with De Volkskrant. This project was made with the support of Creative Industries Fund NL, Dutch Cultural Media Fund, Netherlands Film Fund, Amsterdam Municipality, Free Press Unlimited and OneWorld.