‘Bayath’ is a project created, to let Dutch people understand refugees by creating a language problem. Using a problem to be the solution. The presence of multiple beeps of morscode telling you the story of Syrian refugee Bayath, at that moment shortly living in the Netherlands. The film uses morscode and is translated by a monotone voice. The voice of Google translate.
The story of the always cheerful bayath is sometimes funny because of the slips of the tongue, but also at times horrifying. This is presented to you in bite-sized chunks by the monotonous voice of google translate. The voice of Google translate actually kills all emotion in one go, just as if a shopping list is being read aloud or the news, where the refugee issue is often just a number or a piece of text read out before we move on to the next news item. The Bayath project brings a story and words that are actually too difficult to hear out of someone’s mouth in a way that is recognisable, yet somewhat uncomfortable. A short film that is combination of new opportunities, joy and tragedy. The two sides of a coin.
Morscode and language:
Morscode is an universal language, not assigned to any country or nationality. A language mostly used at sea, a language which most important word is S.O.S. The prisoners of the Bijlmer Bajes also used to communicate to each other by morse code. In 2017 Bijlmer Bajes was no longer inhabited by prisioners, but made into a living space for (Syrian) refugees.
A shared language is something we don’t recognise enough as a connecting factor. It’s way we understand eachother and share stories. For a lot of refugees the language problem is a big hurdle. So why not create a language problem and use it to connect?
‘Bayath’ is a project I made about Syrian refugees. In this project I came across this beautiful and nice Syrian guy Bayath, who fled for his life. He is one of the most wonderful people I ever met, always laughing and kind. I respect him so much for sharing his story and willing to be part of this project. Thank you, Bayath.