A sensorial immersion in the suffocating life of an underground shelter asylum-seekers are crammed into upon their arrival in Geneva.
During the Cold War, Switzerland built sub-terranean shelters, officially called civil protection shelters or « abris PC », to protect its popluation froma soviet attack.
Largely inoccupied over the years, these shelters were requisitioned for emergency sitautions. In the summer of 1999, in the midst of war in Kosovo, Geneva housed 700 people in 13 PC shelters. General indignation at the practice led officials to find swift alternatives, and by December 1999 no one was housed underground.
Since 2011, Geneva has reopened its bunkers to house migrants. Initially, the PC shelters were reserved for individuals destined to be sent back (« Dublin » cases, dismissals, decisions of non-consideration, etc.,). Today, bunkers house people who are still waiting for their asylum requests to be processed. Some have lived in bunkers for over a year.
And yet, in a 2013 report the National Commission on the Prevention of Torture, « considers that these military installations are adapted solely for short-term stays, of a maximum 3 weeks. »
Considered from the start as a temporary solution, the settling of migrants in PC shelters has been normalised.
In January 2015, 2 bunkers housed roughly 100 people.
In February 2016, 10 bunkers housed over 600 people.
Respect - Belfast Human Rights Film Festival
Nothern Irlande, 3-7 March 2017
Solothurner Filmtage | Journées de Soleure
Switzerland, 19-26 January 2017
Zurich Human Rights Film Festival
Switzerland, 10 December 2016
Festival Dei Popoli
Firenze (Italy), 27 November 2016
Afrika Eye Film Festival
Bristol (United Kingdom), 12 November 2016
RIDM, Montreal International Documentary Film Festival
Canada, 11 & 14 November 2016
VERZIO, International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
Hungary, 11 November 2016
Leeds International Film Festival
United Kingdom, 9 November 2016
Germany, 8 November 2016
Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage
Tunisia, 31 October & 2 November 2016
DOCUMENT Human Rights Film Festival
Glasgow (Scotland) 23 October 2016
International Unseen Festival “Film Sozialak”
Bilbao (Spain), 15 October 2016
United Kingdom, 11 & 15 June 2016
FIFDH Geneva, International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights
Switzerland, 5 & 12 March 2016
Self-taught director Anne-Claire Adet studied political science and anthropology before turning to cinema. She has directed institutional films for associations and NGOs, as well as amateur films. BUNKERS is her first documentary short.
Yasmine Abd El Aziz
Yasmine Abd El Aziz
Born in Egypt, Yasmine has lived between Geneva, Paris, and Cairo. From this multiple cultural exposure, she cultivated a taste for difference and for looking beyond what can easily be seen. With Nouvelle Tribu, audiovisual production, Yasmine produces films that interrogate our relationship to alterity and embody a curious, unusual, and benevolent gaze on our world. Currently, she works with Richard Dindo and Jacob Berger.
The films edited by Ana Acosta have been presented in the largest international festivals. She has collaborated with renowned filmmakers like Juan José Lozano (« Sabogal » in 2015, « Chasseurs de crimes » in 2014, Impunity in 2010, Témoin indésirable in 2008) and Britta Rindelaub (« Loin des yeux » in 2013, Zurück » in 2009).
A versatile composer, Benoît Renaudin is simultaneously a rock guitarist, electronic sound manipulator, visual artist, and journalist. He has notably worked on sound creation for theatre with the directer of Isis Fahmy.
Multimedia journalist and co-founder of WeReport, an internaitonal collective of independent journalists, Daphné covers interational social, political and cultural subjects and is specialized in borders and migration. She notably collaborates with Radio France Internationale, RTS, RCF, Mediapart, Slate, Lyon Capitale, La Première (France Télévision), Radio France (Le Mouv’, France Inter) and Europe 1.
This film was financed thanks to the generous support of the Fondation éducation21 / Films pour un seul monde, and of 94 people
Edouard Gillet, Marie De Lutz, Gaspard Nordmann, Béatrice Laot, Adriana Spinazze, Bernadette Bricard, Lorraine Hauenstein, Charlotte Klein, Vincent Bossy, Marlene Carvalhosa Barbosa, Coline de Senarclens, Noèle Barbot, Marie Derian, Sarah Bittel, Loïc Duhaut, Etienne Dubois, Marion Ernwein, Michel and Martine Fiorese, Vi Bourdet, Gautier Fournier, Dom Wittwer, Emmanuel Caroline Philippe and Anne-Marie Giron, Aude Szternberg, Cassandre Poirier, Annick Bouissou, Diane Le Lay, Béatrice Laot, Adriana Spinazze, Daniel Valentin, Antoine Briotet, Axelle Adet, Djemila Carron, Melissa Llorens, Marylène Lieber, Olivia Heller, Laura Cahen, Sophie Leudière, Arnaud Aubelle, Sophie Lochet, Patrick Clocher, Catherine et Gilles Adnet, Ana Curbet, Marie and Jacques Szternberg, Marie-Christine Vesseron, Marie-Claire Thiebaut Prunier, Diane Le Lay, Jean-Jacques and Chantal Pagès, Maria Alice Stock, Francesca Piccin, Marguerite Davenport, Lucie Redonnet, Isabelle Gattiker, Francis Rivolta, Hervé and Raffaëlla Adet, Cédric Jenni, Antoine Stroh, Ayari Felix, Bénédicte Adet, Jean-Baptiste Adet, Lorine Grandjean, Florence Lacroix, Merce Henri and Laïa Monje, Anne-Frédérique Widmann, Francis Lamarque, Sarah Maes, Saralina Thiévent, Yvann Yagchi and a few anonymous supporters.
Alberto Campi, Cristina Del Biaggio, Lucine Miserez the team from the Centre Social Protestant, Lorine Grandjean, Lorraine Hauenstein, Jasmin Basic, Zoé Selier, Florence Lacroix, Marie de Lutz, Marie Marcon, Catalina Ruiz, Saber Moha, Sabina Timco, Laila Alonso, Paola Gazzani, Lucas Zibung, the Stop Bunkers and No Bunkers collectives.
BUNKERS on Vice's i-D
One of the "8 must see films about the refugee experience"
Info from the Stop Bunkers collective
The refugees living in PC shelters in Geneva are fighting against the living conditions imposed on them.
The attempted suicide in a PC shelter mobilises the fight against Dublin expulsions (article in French)
The Occupy Grütli collective's facebook page
Yasmine Abd El Aziz