2 Girls : 2 awards Posted December 5, 2016

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The documentary film 2 Girls explores the circumstances, decision-making, experiences and consequences of migration for adolescent girls in Bangladesh and Ethiopia. It is funded by Terre des Hommes, the University of Sussex and Feminist Review Trust.

Breaking away from the dominant focus on girls as victims of trafficking, it gives evidence of the resilience, creativity and agency of young migrant girls who faced with difficult choices.

Directed by Marco Speroni, the story is based on two parallel trajectories of migration of adolescent girls: Lota and Tigist, 2 girls living in different countries, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, are linked by the same journey from poverty or abuses to the megacities of Dhaka and Addis Ababa, where they are experiencing very difficult lives. A parallel harsh journey to meet their destinies and their hopes.

2 Girls has been awarded the First Prize for the best Italian Documentary at the RIFF (Rome, November 2016) and the Grand Prix for the Best Foreign Film at 7th HumanDoc International Documentary Film Festival (Warsaw, December 2016).

It has also been screened at the Afro Film Festival “Ananse”, Colombia and the Lisbon International Film Festival

This documentary movie and its shorter version, Time to look at girls, are two of the outcomes of the research, led by Katarzyna Grabska, the Global Migration Centre (GMC) of the Graduate Institute (Geneva), with the collaboration of Terre des Hommes and funded by the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS). The study explores the links between migration of adolescent girls and development in the Global South through a holistic approach contextualising adolescents’ and young women’s agency, choices and migration experiences in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Sudan.

The research fills an existing gap in knowledge about the reasons adolescent girls migrate and their aspirations and experiences. It provides insights into their agency and capacity to choose, their future opportunities, as well as constraints and how these are shaped contextually. The research contributes to global policy debates by producing policy relevant analysis, data and recommendations.

This project feeds into the global campaign “Destination Unknown” led by TDH.

In addition to several research reports, academic articles and conference participations, the films were produced to document the findings of the research. 2 Girls is a longer version (55 mins) destined for a wider public and Time to look at girls is a shorter (31 mins) version destined for advocacy and teaching.

The longer version is based on two parallel trajectories of migration of adolescent girls: Lota and Tigist, 2 girls living in different countries, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, are linked by the same journey from poverty or abuses to megacities of Dhaka and Addis Ababa, living there a very difficult life. A parallel harsh journey in where they meet their destinies and their hopes.

2 girls trailer from NACNE SUTTVUESS on Vimeo.

The shorter version, Time to look at girls, is based on four parallel stories about the trajectories of migration of adolescent girls. In Bangladesh, the film portrays Lota and Sharmeen who are employed in garment factories. In Ethiopia, the documentary follows the lives of Tigist and Helen, two internal migrant girls, who end up in sex work. It provides space for the powerful voices of the migrant girls who speak about their own circumstances, experiences, dreams for the future.

Time to look – Trailer from Marco Speroni on Vimeo.

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