This is one of the most asked questions that I hear when I meet someone. My answer is that I chose Serbia first because of the project itself although the History of the Balkans was quite interesting for me.
My personal project in MEC is a documentary about the situation of the serbian refugees from other parts of former Yugoslavia and IDP’s (Internal Displaced People) from Kosovo. I am interested in learning about their living conditions and showing to the public the faces that represent the next facts:
– The Republic of Serbia holds the largest population of refugees of Europe.
– There are 86.000 registered refugees (5.500 of them in colective centers) and 210.00 IDP’s (this ones, the last data available is from 10 years ago). Besides, there are 20.000 displaced inside Kosovo.
– United Nations thinks that the main problems that refugees and IDP’s suffer are the restitution or compensation for the ocupation or tenancy rights of their properties, along with the high unemployment (33% acording to Serbian government) and the lack of documentation (44% do not have any documents).
– There are 17.000 apatrides in the Republic of Serbia.
– In Kosovo the lack of housing is one of the main problems, although dificult access to education and restrictions to free of movement are not irrelevant issues.
– The 10% of the resident population never lived in Serbia before 1992.
(Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2010-2011 and Comisariat for the Refugees of the Republic of Serbia)
Sometimes data looks just like data. The good thing about media is that we have the tools to give a human aspect to all these numbers. And that is why I chose Serbia.