Through the prism of an extraordinary life, this documentary explores the achievements of Barbara Harrell-Bond - academic, refugee activist and a life-long advocate for refugee rights.
The film takes us on a personal journey of a not-so-ordinary woman born in a remote town in South Dakota during the Great Depression. It traces her career from her initial engagement with the civil rights movement in the US in the late Fifties, to her move to the UK in the mid-Sixties where she studied social anthropology at the University of Oxford in the 1960s. Then the film follows her on her travels to West Africa where she carried out much of her academic research.
Her first-hand experience of the Saharawi refugee camps in Algeria in 1980, and the humanitarian crisis in Sudan in 1982, led her to establish the refugee studies programme in Oxford, and numerous others around the world. A very strong advocate of legal aid programs for refugees in the Global South, Barbara endeavoured also to pioneer and established a number of these programs including in Uganda, Egypt, South Africa and the UK.
Far from being only an academic, the focus of Barbara’s life-long work has been on improving refugee rights in practice, and on keeping refugees at the centre of humanitarian interventions. .Issues which still resonate today, in an age in which safe havens for refugees are increasingly being eroded and violations of human rights are on the rise.
Director: Enrico Falzetti
Written by Katarzyna Grabska and Enrico Falzetti
Produced by Katarzyna Grabska in collaboration with AMERA Int.
Documentary, 58 min.
Please keep Barbara's commitment to refugees, and contribute to the Barbara Harrell-Bond Foundation: barbaraharrellbond.org/