About


The Refugee Memorial


dedicated to the victims of escape from war, persecution, expulsion, climate change & migration

There are currently more than 60 millions of refugees on the globe, people who left their home country in order to escape war, persecution and murder, but also poverty and the lack of any perspectives.

According to the UNHCR, the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide reached 65,600,000 at the end of 2016; the highest level since World War II, with a 40 percent increase taking place since 2011. Of these 65,600,000, 22.5 million were refugees (17.2 million under UNHCR’s mandate, plus 5.3 million Palestinian refugees under UNRWA’s mandate). 2.8 million of the refugees were asylum seekers. The rest were persons displaced within their own countries (internally displaced persons). The 17.2 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate were around 2.9 million more than at the end of 2014, the highest level since 1992. Among them, Syrian refugees became the largest refugee group in 2014 (3.9 million, 1.55 million more than the previous year), overtaking Afghan refugees (2.6 million), who had been the largest refugee group for three decades. Six of the ten largest countries of origin of refugees were African: Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Eritrea. Developing countries hosted the largest share of refugees (86 percent by the end of 2014, the highest figure in more than two decades); the least developed countries alone provided asylum to 25 percent of refugees worldwide. Even though most Syrian refugees were hosted by neighboring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, the number of asylum applications lodged by Syrian refugees in Europe steadily increased between 2011–17. By December 2017, UNHCR had counted over 1,000,000 asylum applications in 37 European countries (including both EU members and non-members).Six of the ten largest countries of origin of refugees were African: Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Eritrea.

As of 2017, 55 percent of refugees worldwide came from three nations: South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Syria. Of all displaced peoples, 17 percent of them are being hosted in Europe. As of April 2018, 15,481 refugees have successfully arrived to the shores of Europe via sea within the first few months of the year alone. There was an estimated 500 that have died in this year alone. In 2015, there was a total of 1.02 million arrivals by sea. Since then, the influx has steadily decreased but is ongoing nonetheless.

Developing countries hosted the largest share of refugees (86 percent by the end of 2014, the highest figure in more than two decades); the least developed countries alone provided asylum to 25 percent of refugees worldwide. Even though most Syrian refugees were hosted by neighbouring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, the number of asylum applications lodged by Syrian refugees in Europe steadily increased between 2011 and 2015, totaling 813,599 in 37 European countries (including both EU members and non-members) as of November 2015; 57 percent of them applied for asylum in Germany or Serbia. The largest single recipient of new asylum seekers worldwide in 2014 was the Russian Federation, with 274,700 asylum requests.

People in Europe speak currently of the “refugee crisis”, as if the streams of refugees would come by coincidence. In fact, Europe and the old European colonial superpowers , eg Great Britain and France, and on a smaller scale Spain and Portugal prepared the fertile soil for all current conflicts, wars and civil wars in Middle East, Asia and Africa. When the colonial powers left the stage, after World War II other imperial powers – like USA, Sovjetunion, but currently also China – were replacing them and continued again the powergames at the expenses of the local people anywhere. They were feeding the current local Islam dominated powers in Middle East, for instance, and their main tool to maintain and expand power, the terrorism.

But a big share of all the millions of refugees worldwide are forced to leave the home country due to the changing climate caused by the global warming. The effects on the living habitat is already dramatic in South America, Africa and Asia. More and more people will start migrating to regions on the globe promissing better conditions for a survival.

Even if the current refugee crisis can be considered to be the biggest since World War II, the transmigration of people does not represent a new phenomenon in the history of human civilization, but it was even an essential condition for the development of the human species. The phenomenon of transmigration was always initiating a new era, a renewal and an important step forward to a next level of human civilization. So, what will come next?

The Refugee Film Collection is focussing on the human dimension, since the refugees are human individuals who are forced to leave their home countries in order to get shelter, protection and perspectives for survival elsewhere. Do or did they find the “promissed land” – temporarily or for sure?

Artists and video makers spotlight this human dimension and the diversity of reasons and motivations to become a refugee. The collection will be presented individually – in total and in parts – in the context of the major exhibition project.

Founded in 2015 by the Cologne based media artist & curator, Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, on occasion of the international refugee crisis, the Refugee Film Collection had been transformed in 2017 into “The Refugee Memorial” – commemorating the victims of the processes and the reasons for migrating.

The global networking project – The W:OW Project – We Are One World” – http://wow.engad.org is forming the framework for exhibition & screening purposes.

in 2018, “The Refugee Memorial” became corporate part of the media art context “The 7 Memorial for Humanity”http://7mfh.a-virtual-memorial.org

The Refugee Film Collection


108 participating artists from 35 countries

Wilfried Agricola de Cologne (Germany), Paolo Bandinu (Italy), Aline Biasutto (France), Inês von Bonhorst (Portugal), Quentin Bruno & Clé Hunnigan (Belgium), RC Campos (Ruy Cézar Campos Figueiredo)(Brazil), Cristobal Catalan (Spain), Zlatko Cosic (Bosnia), Manuel Granados (Spain), Stephan Groß (Germany), Farid Hamedi (Rohina) (Iran), Samantha Harvey (UK), Beate Hecher/Markus Keim (Austria), Paul Heintz (France), Amir Kabir Jabari (Syria), Haleh Jamali (UK), Panagiotis Kalos (Greece), Anni Kaltsidou (Greece), Fenia Kotsopoulou (Greece), Anna Knappe (Norway), Mariken Kramer (Norway), Hermes Mangialardo (Italy), Miss Muffett aka Lisa Seidenberg (USA), Brigitte Neufeldt (Germany), Marc Neys (Belgium), Pekka Niskanen (Finland), Nelton Pellenz (Brazil), William Peña Vega (Colombia), Maciej Piatek (Poland), Rrose Present (Spain), Mauricio Saenz (Mexico), Ausin Sainz (Spain), Ayelet Salter (Israel), Gabriele Stellbaum (Germany), George Symeonidis, Artemis Stathakou (Greece), Jan Szewczyk (Poland), Karin Till (Australia), Theodoris Trampas (Greece), Aliénor Vallet (France), Parya Vatankhah (Iran/France), Yovista Ahtajida (Indonesia), Mo’ Mohamed Benhadj (Algeria), Sean Burn (UK), Gabin Cortez Chance (USA), Stephen Chen (Canada), Oksana Chepelyk (Ukraine), Citron | Lunardi (Selene Citron and Luca Lunardi) (Italy), Virginia Eleuteri Serpieri (Italy), Anna Faroqhi & Haim Peretz (Germany), Johannes Christopher Gérard (Germany), David Gutema Gamatchis (Hungary), Grace Graupe-Pillard (USA), Jake Martin Graves (UK), Silvia De Gennaro (Italy), Sana Ghobbeh, Silvia Amancei, Bogdan Armanu (Iran), Florentia Ikonomidou (Greece), Lucija Konda Labas (Croatia), Elena Knox (Australia), Maria Korporal (Netherlands), Les Riches Douaniers (Gilles Richard & Fabrice Zoll) (France), Daniela Lucato (Italy), Nenad Nedeljkov (Serbia), Isabel Pérez del Pulgar (Spain), Simone Stoll (Germany), Gabriele Stellbaum (Germany), Mohamed Thara (Morocco), Daniel Wechsler (Israel), Jana Wisniewski (Austria), Masha Maria Yozefpolsky (Israel), Monika Zywer (Poland), Susan Bruce (Australia), Christian Wodstrup Christiansen (Denmark), Zlatko Cosic (Bosnia/USA), Irene Curik (Croatia), Abdoul-Ganiou Dermani (Togo), Eda Emirdağ (Turkey), Piotr Filipiuk (Poland), Sonia Guggisberg (Brazil), Sonia Guggisberg (Brazil), Felice Hapetzeder (Sweden), Alessandro Inglima (Italy), Ma Kapoka (Italy), Hamza Kirbas (Turkey), Ulf Kristiansen (Norway), Enoh Lienemann (Germany), Francesca Lolli (Italy), Kalli Paakspuu (Canada), Carles Pamies (Spain), Lisi Prada (Spain), Elsa Trzaska (Finland), The Unstitute (UK/Spain), Angelina Voskopoulou (Greece), Abe Abraham (USA), Zaher Alchihabi (Syria), Vito Alfarano (Italy), Dimitris Argyriou (Greece), Mathilde Babo (France), Paul Barrios (Colombia), Boutheyna Bouslama (Tunisia), Mike Celona (USA), Fu LE (France), Reza Golchin (Iran), Mohammed Harb (Palestine), Barbara Hasenmüller (Germany), Eri Kassnel (Germany), Albert Merino (Spain), Filomena Rusciano (Italy), Cigdem Slankard (Turkey/USA), Alienor Vallet (France), Lioba von den Drisch (Germany), Sebastian Weimann (Germany)