CSE 2023

Notes on Displacement

The news is full of disturbing images of overcrowded boats and vast tent camps. But how much do we really know about what refugees are going through? Notes on Displacement takes a deep dive on a gruelling journey. 


Nadira, an elderly Palestinian, has been a refugee since the age of 12. Now she has to evacuate Damascus, too. She and her daughter Mona feared for their lives there, but the idea of a safe existence elsewhere is a distant dream. Filmmaker Khaled Jarrar receives unsettling videos and voice messages as they cross to the Greek island of Lesbos. He joins them there, on the long road to a new life. Jarrar has personal reasons for going through this experience in order to eliminate, through his own images, the distance so dominant in Western media coverage. He worms his way through the thronging crowds, gets lost in the night with his group, discovers how dangerous language barriers can be, and wanders around in the dehumanising camps. And in a sense he—along with the viewer— becomes a true member of this family.

Theme(s): , Colonialism, Human Rights, Migration, Sociology


Director | , Khaled Jarrar
Year | , 2022
Country | , Germany, Palestine, Qatar
Duration | 74 minutes
Original language | , Arabic, English, German
Subtitles | , French
Sound mixing | Kaske Thomas, Rob Walker
Music | Du Yun
Editing | Gladys Joujou



Khaled Jarrar


Khaled Jarrar was born in Jenin, Occupied Palestine in 1976. He lives and works in Ramallah. Jarrar completed his studies in interior design at Palestine Polytechnic University in 1996. Upon graduating he smuggled himself to work as a carpenter in Nazareth, living as an underground “illegal” worker. In 1998 Jarrar enlisted in an intensive military training which resulted in working for Arafat as a personal body guard until Arafat’s death in 2004. Attempting to create a life between the military and an artistic practice, Jarrar entered the field of photography in 2005. Jarrar graduated from the International Academy of Art – Palestine, Ramallah in 2011 and completed an MFA in fine art from the University of Arizona in 2019. Jarrar, a multidisciplinary artist, explores modern power struggles and their sociocultural impact on ordinary citizens through highly symbolic photographs, videos, film, and performative interventions. His State of Palestine project was featured in the 7th Berlin Biennale. Where We Lost Our Shadows, his filmic collaboration with Pulitzer prize winning composer Du Yun, was shown at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Jarrar’s work has been featured at Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah; the New Museum, New York City; the University of Applied Arts, Vienna; the 15th Jakarta Biennale; 52nd October Salon, Belgrade; Al-Ma’mal Foundation, Jerusalem; and the London Film Festival. Infiltrators, Jarrar's first feature length film, was a documentary about the business of Palestinian’s “illegally” crossing and won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Documentary, Jury Special Award and the Muhr Arab Documentary Special Jury Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2012. Notes on Displacement, his second feature length, about a Palestinian refugee’s flight from Syria to Germany, will receive a world premier at the IDFA Envision Competition in November 2022.



6 July 2023 at 21h15

Station Youville

A discussion with Eva Gracia-Turgeon, Executive Director of Foyer du Monde, an organization that temporarily hosts asylum seekers and migrants in Montreal, will follow the screening.

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