The Hakawati Project is a Berlin-based, non-profit collaboration with The Sundance Institute. The project brings together A-list international cinema artists and refugee youth from Syria and other conflict zones. Professional artists will mentor and inspire these young refugees through creative workshops in screenwriting, acting, directing, cinematography, editing, and music composition.

Through this intersection, Germany’s vast refugee community will be given a platform to creatively express their experiences, building relationships with each other and their host country. By crafting their communication and artistic skills, refugees can tell the stories that Hollywood does not. First-hand experiences from these young hakawatis are equally as educational for those on the receiving end, offering an opportunity to listen, feel, connect, and respond.

The Hakawati Project will allow voices to be heard, stories to be witnessed: an opportunity for people to deeply feel their own humanity. The project will provide a vital and necessary alternative to the narratives available through journalism and media. Storytelling provides a pathway to empathy, an essential element in inspiring collective action.

Tell. Listen. Act. This is how healing begins.