borderless, a New Media Initiative on Pressing Global Issues to Launch at New School's Zolberg Institute in New York with Film on Syrian Refugee Crisis, Thursday May 4

New York, NY, May 03, 2017 --( The New School’s Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility in collaboration with USA for UNHCR and difrent: will host the launch of borderless, a new media initiative designed to connect people at the frontlines of the world’s pressing crises. borderless includes a docu-series, collaborative workshops and educational programs, production of original cultural content, online platform and website, as well as social networks and distribution through traditional and digital media partners.

The event will take place on Thursday, May 4th, 2017 from 6pm - 7:30pm at The New School’s Wollman Hall (65 W. 11th St., Rm. B500, NYC). It will feature the premiere of the borderless migration crisis episode and a panel discussion with Ninette Kelley, Director of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Office in New York and Alex Aleinikoff, Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School along with an introduction and musical performance by borderless’ host Stephan Said, with reception to follow. The event is free and open to the public.

The borderless docu-series follows Said as he travels the globe searching for positive responses to the world’s biggest crises, making music to bring people together as he travels. Along the way, he discovers stories of courage and creativity in the face of inequality, conflict, poverty, extremism, global warming and more, using media to connect movements, people, and knowledge. The first 30-minute episode of borderless takes the audience to heart of the global refugee crisis, focusing on refugees fleeing Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and more. Said goes from official to unofficial camps and squats across Greece where he hears stories of people fleeing Assad, ISIS, repressive regimes and war, and meets with relief workers from the UNHCR to MSF, the European Commission to anarchist youth running radio stations from camps. He performs with Kurdish minstrels, Syrian rap artists, refugee children, and makes a music video live in camps for his song “No More Lines,” which was released live from camps on World Refugee Day.

Later this year, borderless will follow Said to eight locations across the world, such as Johannesburg to Salvador do Bahia. In each episode, borderless will explore a different theme and collaborate with communities. The next program will be filmed in West Virginia, bringing together voices of rural and urban poverty in the USA, exploring unemployment and the opioid drug epidemic.

Said’s own family are refugees from Mosul, Iraq who fled ISIS and coalition bombings that destroyed their neighborhood. Prior to filming in refugee camps, borderless followed Said to Iraq just before ISIS invaded, where he collaborated with the National Symphony and Youth Orchestras, graffiti artists, relief workers, film-makers, and created a music video for global unity. The series then followed Said to Pakistan where he worked with numerous NGO’s, schools, and arts institutions and produced a concert for unity attended by thousands.

borderless is produced by difrent: Inc, a global media company and institute producing content and programs that bridge culture, socio-economic development and media to catalyze creative solutions for a more equal and open global society.

borderless is sponsored by The Global Center, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational foundation, under the direction of award-winning executive producer Rory O’Connor, that helps to create and distribute media to promote and foster public awareness of the peoples, culture and current affairs of nations throughout the world.

The Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility provides a space for research and scholarship, policy debate, and discussion with activists and artists around issues of global migration and mobility, their economic impact, political consequences and their meaning for issues of citizenship and identity.
The Global Center
Lloyd Trufelman
917 856 6543