Material for learning and reflection


The Specially Unknown collection of interviews with refugees from many different backgrounds who settled in European cities like Antwerp, Bochum, Paris and Turin offer a treasure of materials and topics for discussion, reflection and learning, not only about refugees but also about ourselves, our European cities and our societies in general.

Below you can find a selection of eight short compilations of video fragments from interviews with refugees. The video compilations are covering universal themes, derived from the interview material. Each compilation is accompanied by suggestions for possible educational questions, meant to serve as a concrete starting point for discussions with diverse people  –  from academic researchers to refugee councils’  workers, to high school teachers, policymakers, as well as refugees themselves.

The videos presented on this website are only meant to be used as a starting point for discussions in classrooms, reception centres, workshops et cetera. The questions which accompany the fragments are suggestions. Please feel free to add own discussion questions which suit the goals of your educational program.



1. New city  / new context


Expectations vs reality – first impressions of Europeans and European cities, fairy-tales and disappointments


Questions for refugees:
What did you expect to see/encounter in Europe?

How was it in reality?

Is Europe a fairy-tale, or a disappointment?

Does it live up to your expectations?

What did you learn since you first arrived?

Questions for the non-refugees: What do you think refugees would expect to find/see in Europe?

Can you step int their shoes, and look at your city through their eyes?

Imagine you are coming to a your city for the first time. What would you expect/ What do you see?



2. Identity


Balancing multiple identities



What is your identity?

How would you define it?

What makes or breaks one’s identity?

Do you have only one identity, or more?

How do you deal with two or more identities?

How do you balance them?

Do you talk about that?

Do you show your identity/ties to others? How?



3. Home


Essence / meaning of home


Where is home?

What “makes” a home? Objects? People?

What makes one feel at home? Is that the same: being at home and feeling at home?

If you don’t feel at home, what would you need to have achieve this feeling?



4. Personal growth and changes


Can difficulties we encounter and experience also be beneficial for our personal development?



Did you ever experience difficulties in your life?

Can bad things actually work for us?

Could there be advantages from hard life, misery and suffering? If so: why, and how?

Is it difficult to open up to people who have experienced hard circumstances in life?



5. Assumptions


Awareness of assumptions we have, their trueness and their effect on others


Questions for the refugees:
Did you experience that European people have a negative/ bad image of you?

And a good image?

How about media? Did these images affect you? In what way?


Questions for non-refugees:

Have you ever experienced that people had a negative/bad image of you?

How do you see yourself, what is your image of yourself?

What is your image of a refugee?

What did you think about women who cover their head before this video?

And has your opinion changed by watching the video? Why, or why not?





6. Benefits of refugees


How does EU benefit from refugees?


Questions (before watching the video):
Can you think of any benefits for EU cities from accepting refugees? Can you name some?


After watching the video


Did the benefits you named were the same as the ones the video shows?

If you would be obliged to move to another country and city what benefits would you bring along with you?



7. Living with Europeans / in European cities


How to live in European cities?


What is the best way to live in a European city?  Adapt, assimilate, change, integrate?

Give pros and contras for each.

What would be most difficult for you to give up in your actual way of living?



8. Unexpected


Unexpected statements of refugees


Questions (after the screening):

Which of these examples strikes you the most? Why?

What does it tell you about refugees and was does it tell about ourselves?