The news is full of 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 by following a single family on a grueling journey, destination Germany. Their fear, disorientation, and solidarity is palpable.
Nadira, an elderly Palestinian, has been a refugee since the age of 12. And now she has to leave 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 better life.
Jarrar has his personal reasons for going through this experience in order to eliminate, in 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 gro√up, discovers how dangerous language barriers can be, and wanders around in the dehumanizing camps. And in a sense he—along with the viewer— becomes a true member of this family.
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 intensive military training which resulted in working for Arafat as a personal bodyguard 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.