CSFilm Fund for Afghan Evacuation and Resettlement

August 29, 2021

Urgent Help needed for Afghan Filmmakers & Families

Up Against the Wall, Basir and his family-of-four, along with thousands of other desperate Afghans, standing in sewage as they seek to gain access to the Kabul airport. Photo: Basir

Since the fall of Kabul two weeks ago, life has turned into a terrifying scramble for millions in Afghanistan, including the people Community Supported Film (CSFilm) works with.

Over the last decade CSFilm has worked with Afghans, mentoring their production of documentary films. This year we launched Afghanistan21-LookListenLocal. These are journalists, cultural workers, and rights activists whose lives and work are in danger.

The last two weeks have been a night and day race to get them out of the country. We have contacted government agencies and policymakers, embassies, our international network, and online communities to find and secure evacuation routes. Once found, we are overseeing the step-by-step escape plan for each evacuation.

So far, out of 15 families, four families (16 individuals), have made it past Taliban checkpoints (repeatedly beaten and humiliated), through the crushing crowds, into the Kabul airport and onto other countries. One family has fled into Iran.

There are many, many more families that we continue to help. The airport exit is all but closed for Afghan Nationals. We are now looking for ways to ferry people overland and across borders into neighboring countries.

Already we need to turn our attention to supporting eight families that we have referred for asylum to the US. To apply for asylum in the US you have be outside the US and outside you country of origin for the one to two year process.

Community Supported Film urgently needs resources to support our Afghan colleagues. We are establishing an Afghan Evacuation & Resettlement Fund. In normal circumstances, any initiative that contributes to the brain drain of a country is anathema to the foundation of our work. In this case, however, we will do everything possible to save and rebuild our colleagues’ lives.

Please contribute to this effort and/or other worthwhile efforts that will help people face the physical, mental, and financial challenges of leaving everything behind and resettling in a new country.

These are the early days of a long, arduous, and painful process for our Afghan friends and colleagues. We do not know how much money will be needed, for how long or how exactly it will be used. If for whatever reason funds aren’t needed for resettlement, we will refund your donation or ask your permission to put it to use towards our ongoing mission-based work to amplify local voices, perspectives, and experience. 

AFGHAN EVACUATION & RESETTLEMENT FUND


Here’s a link to an article that captures the essence of our world over the last two weeks: This Is What the Afghan Evacuation Looks Like on the Inside

Photo “Up Against the Wall,” 8/26/21 by Basir Bita, Project lead, Afghanistan21-LookListenLocal

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