What is it like to flee?

This question is central in the film portraits that Eefje made commissioned by Humanity House, museum for humanity in The Hague. She interviewed eight people with a refugee background.


I found love in a hopeless place
— Yvonne Artis Shaw, LGBT activist

Since February 2017 you can meet eight people at Humanity House, from eight different parts of the world, all eight with a very different story. The common ground; they all fled and ended up in The Netherlands.

Get to know Bruce Cerew (33) from Nigeria, who witnessed the war in Liberia as a child soldier. Meet Lidija Zelovic (45) from former Yugoslavia, who still remembers the face of the boy she was in love with when she was put on a plane by her father to leave the county. The Iraqi Akhrat Slevani (17) shares how it was for her to live in various Dutch asylum centers for eight years, and only wait. And Ram (40) from Bhutan explains why he has a love-hate relationship with the traditional dress of his country, Bhutan.

Through an 'experience journey' you first step into the shoes of a refugee and feel what it is like to end up in a war or conflict situation. Next, you meet the people who encountered these situations in their life. Therefore you are not only a witness, but you actually take part, think along and participate. The interviews can also be viewed on the website.


For these portraits, we found it important to not portray people as victims, but to show them in a way they wanted to show themselves. In collaboration with the interviewees we choose a 'default mode': a position they take on when the video has not yet been activated. Therefore Lidjia is on her rollerskates, Ram is putting on his traditional coat, Shaza is playing the ganoen and Aiham is reading from the Quran he took on his dangerous journey by boat.

What you feel? You feel powerful.
— Bruce Cerew, former child soldier



Directions & interviews: Eefje Blankevoort
Camera: Thomas Roebers
Editing: Eefje Blankevoort


About asylum policy:

The Deal

Eefje’s new long documentary:

Shadow Game