In October 2015 my sister Sabine went to Lesvos, as part of a group of clowns with the organization Clowns Without Borders to perform for refugees who were making the dangerous journey across the sea to Europe. Media organizations from all over the world were covering the migration and I was overwhelmed by the coverage. I needed to see it first hand to understand.
In February 2016 I followed my sister when she returned to Lesvos. After I arrived, all of my plans changed. We were denied access to all of the refugee camps.
We ended up being in the middle of nowhere, unsure of what we were even waiting for. I felt as if I was a refugee myself, my anxieties about war came back and I wanted to return home. But going back home meant returning to the memories of war and of our family being displaced from one place to another.
All of these memories swirled in my head while I was filming the clowns waiting, and wondering…
When I was two years-old, my parents fled the civil war in Lebanon and went to Athens. Today, 40 years later, history is repeating itself, with different people and myself in that same place looking at it from a different perspective. (Cynthia Choucair)