CHILDREN OF THE LABYRINTH
THENGOIFF 2023 Competition
Philip Brink & Marieke van der Velden
For the first time in history, the number of people forced to flee has passed the milestone of 100 million and it continues to rise in 2023. Many of them are parents with their children. In ‘Children of the Labyrinth’, nine of these parents have written impressive letters to their child. All stranded in Greece, they emotionally recount their fearful journey and the helplessness they feel to be caught up in the European asylum policy, but most of all about the deep love for their child and the future wishes they have for them.
This project is created in close collaboration with the parents. While this group is often seen only as ‘refugees, they suddenly transform into ‘mothers’ and ‘fathers’ who just want a secure future for their child, as any parent would want. Driven by that universal parental desire, these parents saw no other option but to expose their little ones to a life-threatening labyrinth of high walls, violent pushbacks, human traffickers and freezing cold od hot scorching tent camps. The letters offer deep human insight into what that really feels for a parent: ‘It has left deep scratches on our souls.’
This film is part of a larger multimedia project consisting (in addition to this film) of nine individual films, photo portraits and handwritten letters.
All films are available in 10 languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Turkish, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish.