New NPT Public Affairs Documentary Explores the Journey of Refugees to Middle Tennessee
Upcoming NPT original production news…
The original Nashville Public Television half-hour documentary NASHVILLE: CITY OF REFUGE, premiering on Wednesday, June 20 at 8 p.m. on NPT-Channel 8, provides an important first look into Nashville’s emerging international communities.
The program, produced by NPT’s Will Pedigo, explores the journey of one Somali refugee family to its new home in Nashville, TN. Combining interviews with refugee Bare Yogol, Catholic Charities’ caseworker Sarwar Hawez – himself a refugee – and Doctors Without Borders USA Executive Director Nicolas De Torrente, the documentary explores the challenges refugees face in fleeing conflict and rebuilding their lives in a new home. The viewer learns what it means to be a refugee and gets a better understanding as to why Nashville is becoming a common resettlement site for many refugees entering the United States.
“These are folks that you see, and wonder ‘where did they come from, what’s their story,’” says Pedigo, whose previous documentaries include the Emmy-Award winning Living On: Tennesseans Remembering the Holocaust and Tennessee Town Squares. “To have an educated insight into Nashville’s unrecognized citizens is important in building a broader sense of Nashville’s community.”
Yogol fled Somalia during conflict in the early 90s and ended up in a Kenyan refugee camp, where he volunteered and worked with Doctors Without Borders and applied to come to the United States with his wife and two kids. He came over in 1999, became a U.S. citizen and worked on getting a nursing degree.
The documentary includes footage of the Kenyan camp, explores Yogol’s experience there, his coming to the United States and what has happened since.
Documentary to be first in a series
Nashville: City of Refuge is the first introduction to a series of documentaries that will explore Nashville’s foreign-born population. Nashville has the largest Kurdish population in the United States, and was one of five cities chosen in the country where Iraqi nationals residing in the U.S. could vote in the Iraqi parliamentary elections in 2005. Nashville also has significant Somali, Sudanese and Latino populations
“Nashville is becoming a larger and more diverse city every day,” says Beth Curley, President and CEO of NPT. “Growth can sometimes bring about isolation, and as a community television station available to everyone, we feel it’s our responsibility to present programming like this that creates understanding, bridges gaps, educates our citizens and ultimately brings the community closer together.”
Nashville: City of Refuge is made possible by The HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the Tristar Family of Hospitals.