How We Work 

76 mins, 2024

Being forcibly displaced means existing in a state of limbo. How We Work is a co-created film that celebrates the dignity of the human spirit in building relationships and community wherever people are—in particular, through work. Despite restrictions around the right to work, from Democratic Republic of Congo to Ethiopia, Lebanon to Pakistan via Myanmar/Thailand, forcibly displaced people and refugees worldwide develop their own economies. These playful, reflective and often unexpected vignettes also broaden the frame of economics by underlining the value of non-financial transactions, such as care and mutual aid, and invite us to understand that a 'displacement-affected community' includes 'host' populations, as well as refugees and those displaced.

A film by Shawki Al Hallak; Anas Al Sheikh; Nisreen Hazineh; Bassam al Khaled; Abdul Malik Al Ali; Saja Awad; Kareem Nofal; Raneen Alomar; Adnan Alghati; Simeon Yoshua Yuc; Huguette N’Simire Kanumbu; Joseph Elimu Buesha; Pascaline Mwamini Nguba; Johnson Kusimwiragi Moninga; Jean-Baptiste-Ciza Kamungo; Zewdu Lingerh; Dagim Mesele; Mikias Dawit; Biruktawit Godana; Biniyam Gulelat; Emebet Girma; Saw Taulk; Nay Nay; Saw K’Paw Htoo; Angela Aung; Eim Pakao; Saw Void; Saw Lin Htet; Eileen May; Saw Simon; Saw Thet Thet; Saw Ner Doo; Naw Jasmin; Atif Zeb; Khush Bakht; Roshana Waqas; Zala Nisar; Ihteram Khan; Wasiullah Khan with Yasmin Fedda

About the Project

This film was made as part of the research project Protracted Displacement Economies, which worked across 5 countries (Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Pakistan and Myanmar/Thailand) looking at the economic activities of long term displaced people. There were two interesting innovations in the approach. First, we took a broad view of economics, including financial but also non-financial transactions involving care and mutual aid in an approach influenced by feminist economics. Second, the project took a whole of society approach - researching the 'displacement affected community' which includes not only refugees and those displaced, but also the 'host' populations and others than interact with it, breaking down simplistic binaries.

Producer, editor and workshops leader: Yasmin Fedda
Graphics: Pierangelo Pirak
Sound Design & Composition: James Bulley
Sound Mix: Ian Lambden
Story Consultant: Elhum Shakerifar
Colourist: Warren Williams
Post Production: Coda Post Production