Refugee Republic

Even though CobargoDocos is having a winter break, we didn’t want to let Refugee Week go by unnoticed. Instead of a screening at the Butter Factory we have found a multimedia documentary project online for you to watch at your convenience: Refugee Rupublic.

Refugee Republic is an interactive documentary that allows you to explore everyday life in Camp Domiz. Scroll through hand-drawn maps, drawings, photographs, and short video impressions. You will discover that there is another world behind the images you see in the media. A world that is not all that much different from yours and mine.

We’ve all seen the images. People desperately waiting for help outside in the blazing sun in front of rows of white tents. A child behind barbed wire, covered in dust, gazes into the lens of a news camera. But that’s just part of the story.

Camp Domiz is a Syrian refugee camp in northern Iraq. Around 64 thousand predominantly Kurdish-Syrian refugees have sought shelter here. As the number of refugees grew, the camp gradually transformed from a temporary refuge to a makeshift town, where people live and work, go to school, start a business, get married, argue and have fun.


Visual artist Jan Rothuizen, journalist Martijn van Tol, and photographer Dirk Jan Visser explored Camp Domiz from A to Z. They bring to life its inhabitants and places in a multidimensional mix of sound, drawings, photo and film.

Some of the people you’ll meet in the documentary are Ahmed, who skips school to look after his bird stall. The busy circumcision doctor Shixmous. The mechanic Ahmad, who set up a tuk-tuk garage in front of his tent. And Fatma, a teenager who dreams of finding her big break as a singer on Youtube.

Go explore :