What makes teenager undertake a lonely and dangerous journey to an unknown land? What situation leads parents to send their own children away in order to save them? What does it tell about the society we live in that millions of children cross the borders risking their lives on journeys that last for months or years in search of a future?
50% of the refugees in Europe are minors, and many of them are unaccompanied. Children and young people that come to Europe are moved by the instinct to survive, and are confronted with a system that protects them only temporarily. According to the German asylum law, no unaccompanied minor can be deported. In other words, children are safe until they are eighteen. But what future are we giving to these children if they are afraid to become adults?
Futureland is is a science-fiction documentary piece with teenagers between 14 and 18 years old, who came to Germany by themselves from Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Guinea, Bangladesh. They crossed the world by foot, by boat, hidden in a truck and sometimes by a plane. Now they live in Berlin surrounded by social workers, youth welfare employees, tutors, and other young people like them, all coming from very different cultures.
They are teenagers who landed in a new world where they don’t know the rules. They are in a period of grace: they can stay but they don’t know for how long. They do constant auditions to prove that they deserve asylum, a chance in school, a place in a group of friends. They are in between cultures, in between children and adult and in between past, present and future looking for their own identity. Futureland brings together different visions of what is to come – born out of the imagination of those who have experienced more than many of us in a lifetime.
Eine Koproduktion mit der Ruhrtriennale und gefördert von der Kulturstiftung des Bundes. Mit freundlicher Unterstützung von XENION - Psychosoziale Hilfen für politisch Verfolgte e.V.
Photo: Esra Rotthoff