Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera 25 Sep 2020

A Hard Road from Home: Journalists and Actors


No two journeys of migration are the same. In this film, we follow four people who left their native countries, each for different reasons, to build new lives in Spain.

Mae Azango is a journalist who fled Liberia in 2006 but eventually returned home six years later. A teenager in the Liberian Civil War of the 1990s, she was eight months pregnant when her father was beaten to death. Since returning, she has written in vehement opposition to female genital mutilation. While editors initially ignored her work, her persistence has now attracted several international awards.

In 2016, journalist Milthon Robles fled his native Honduras where dozens of reporters have been killed covering the widespread gang violence. "They kidnapped me and tried to kill me several times," he says, "specifically for my work as an investigative journalist." He and his wife sought refuge in Spain, where he has received support from a global network that helps writers-in-exile.

David Laurent is an actor from Cameroon who has lived in Spain for the past six years. He arrived after a perilous dinghy journey from Morocco that he still finds hard to talk about. Today in Barcelona, David works with Theatre Without Papers, performing original plays with an African influence.

Hamid Karim is an established Algerian actor who has lived in Spain for 30 years. He loves his work and shares his passion for drama with a new generation - but is frustrated by being constantly typecast as a terrorist.

Beyond their individual journeys, all four have a common desire to give something back to their communities, by mentoring young people and trying to inspire others along the way.

Michael Gove has told Sky News that people will be encouraged to work from home again as part of new measures to tackle a surge in cases of COVID-19.

It comes after the government encouraged people to return to their offices and workplaces just a few weeks ago.

The cabinet office minister reaffirmed the "reluctant" decision that pubs and restaurants will have to close at 10pm from Thursday and be table service only.

Mr Gove said he stood by the government's decision to encourage people to go out and dine over the summer and claims today's announcement is a proportionate response to rising case numbers.
When coronavirus spread around the world earlier this year, many offices shut their doors and sent staff to work from home.
And although this new professional landscape suits many, it also raised questions about worker privacy.
Several software services for remote working have seen their sales surge - they allow bosses to keep tabs on their staff.

Al Jazeera's Rory Challands reports from London, UK.
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In 2019, Al Jazeera covered the story of a family's migration north from Venezuela, crossing the border into Colombia. As Venezuela's economic crisis worsened, many refugees often travelled on foot, having not enough money for a bus ticket. To get from Cucuta to the next nearest town, these "caminates", or "walkers", must travel 195km (121 miles), climb mountains 3,200 metres (10,500 feet) above sea level and then back. Various NGOs and Colombians living in the region have set up camps to help the desperate Venezuelans endure the harsh conditions and freezing temperatures during the journey.

Maria del Pilar Figueroa lives at the most difficult point along the route, in La Laguna, Paramo de Berlin. After she witnessed the procession of Venezuelans passing by her home, she decided to open up her home as a refuge. Now, she is running a shelter there. Along with her two children, Maria dedicates her life to helping the refugees fleeing her neighbouring country. Their lives have changed completely, as have those of the Venezuelans they have met.

The number of Venezuelans leaving their country has reached four million.
Globally, Venezuelans are one of the single largest population groups displaced from their country, according to the United Nations' refugee agency (UNHCR).

Filmmaker: Alejandro Bernal Rueda

Researcher/Producer: Sofia Villamil

Editors: HyoJin Park, Alejandro Bernal Rueda

Production Company: Tropico Media

Executive Producer Andrew Phillips


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