By Chris Cotter
Luckily for me, I was born just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States of America. I spent my childhood as an optimistic, naive kid more interested in playing music than studying geography. Honestly, I didn’t really put much thought into anything or anyone outside of my small bubble. My biggest issue as a child was deciding whether to watch Thundercats or He-Man.
Like most of us born in a truly democratic state, I have taken many of my basic rights and freedoms for granted. It wasn’t until I began traveling outside of the U.S. that I started to understand how vastly different other countries could be. At first, I traveled mostly for the adventure of it, an achievement of some kind, or just out of sheer boredom. I did it because I could. I was hungry to see the world. My world.
It took quite a few trips before the actual world finally came into focus for me. I started to realize that not everyone was as sheltered and spoiled as I was here in the United States. Not every person had the freedom to question authority or to have their vote counted when something needed to be changed. Not every man, woman, or child had a voice.
As it turned out, “my world” ended up including other people who were not born as lucky as I was. I took on this project to tell the stories of people whose cries are falling on deaf ears and not reaching the public eye. These refugees are underdogs born into a severe situation and if things had gone another way, any of us could have been facing similar fates. After visiting the refugee camps and conducting interviews, I now understand that borders may put certain limits on our identity, but they do not need to define the limits of our humanity.
We’re now raising funds to help complete our film. Please support the Eritrean refugees by visiting our website or the Kickstarter Fundraiser.