In Some Immigration News Across the Borders – Canada Holds Online Film Festival on Migration

I want to take time out to do this, at least every weekend. Let me know if the comparative / international perspective is helpful and something the blog readers would find interesting. This is by no means comprehensive; just under-reported news I found noteworthy and/or fascinating.

  • Debating 120,000 year old migration route? A new study on the cradle of civilization reveals an alternate path to early human migration than the one previously proposed. The Nile Valley is widely believed to be the most likely route out of sub-Saharan Africa for early modern humans but new research from the University of Bristol points to Libya as the exit route through the Sahara.

According to independent studies from the University of Helsinki and the University of Cambridge, our dispositions not only influence where we choose to live but also how often and how far we move. And over time, these choices can influence the social character of entire geographical regions.

  • Canada’s first and only online film festival–the Migr@tions Online Film Festival–features 80 short documentaries on migration that viewers can watch anywhere in the world at their leisure through to December. Quarterfinals are right now so you can log on and cast your votes for the short documentaries each week.

Migr@tion 2008 features a total of 80 short documentaries and dramas – 40 each in English and French – from more than 22 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, South Korea, U.K., U.S., Zimbabwe and, of course, Canada.

By going international, this year’s festival received more than 200 entries, each between four and nine minutes, from South African Sarah Van Borek’s Xenophobia Unplugged on a musician’s journey, to American Alana Kakoyiannis’ Cosmopolis, a documentary on Greek immigrants who, having gained social mobility, are passing the torch to the next waves of Mexicans.

Among the Canadian features are Ellen Tang’s Girl Any More, which examines if having an anglicized name affects who you are, Radha Rajagopalan’s Wires and Words, exploring how second-generation Tamil Brahmins in Canada connect to their heritage through the internet, and Punam Kumar Gill’s The Lesson, about the filmmaker’s father, who helped his Punjabi community in Edmonton by teaching newcomers how to drive.

(Read more here)

It sounds like the sort of trans-national and cross-border understanding that we need to develop in our pro-migrant network. Do check it out. I am sure we would come across some powerful narratives of value and worthy of discussion.
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