Throughout the two months in which I have been working on my independent project, I have seen it evolve from a naive dream to a concrete vision. I have quickly learned of the challenges pursuing independent work ensues, and have adjusted my project according to them. The most recent issue came up in a chat with Teacher Deb. We were speaking about the next steps of my project, as I am nearing the end of my research phase. She knew of my plan to create a documentary style film focusing on the stories of the Syrian refugees I would interview, and raised the concern of where I would find these people in he US. As many already know, it is not exactly simple for a Syrian refugee to come to the United State— dozens of screenings and vets must take place, giving Syrians a minimum of two years waiting time until they are even allowed to set foot in the country. Because the Syrian crisis is still such a current issue, many refugees have only just started the process of trying to enter the United States.
Despite Allentown, Pennsylvania having one of the largest refugee populations in the country, it is still not a substantial enough amount of people to create an entire film around. Instead, Teacher Deb recommended I expand my vision, and possibly include some refugees from other places in the Middle East. After all, the refugee crisis is not an issue unique to Syria. I also know for a fact there are many Iraqi and Pakistani refugees around where I live, making them much more accessible for me to interview as opposed to the Syrians. While I still hope to interview at least one Syrian refugee, sometimes one just has to accept the challenges and comprise. However, regardless of who this project ends up focusing on, I can say one thing for certain— it will still make an impact.
Here is the link to the refugee website I’ve been consulting: http://www.rcusa.org