Select Page

The UNHCR Archives: A Short Film. © UNHCR

“To see [in the records] the UNHCR and the Thai Marine Police conducting an anti-piracy campaign … I think helped with the healing. It reminds us that there is humanity buried underneath the inhumanity in our world”

Tiffany Chung, visual artist, Vietnamese American and former refugee

UNHCR’s newest video production offers a fresh take on UNHCR’s history, celebrating International Archives Week 2024 with behind-the-scenes archives footage and personal testimony of those creating, capturing, working with, and conducting research using UNHCR’s records.  

Defined by the histories of the displaced and stateless people whose stories are documented here, these are the working records of a United Nations agency from its beginnings in the Geneva Palais des Nations to its present-day global workforce, responding to refugee crises worldwide.

A word from the film maker

“The UNHCR Archives: A Short Film” is a project born out of a profound respect for the invaluable resources held within the UNHCR Archives.

Our mission was to breathe life into these archives, revealing their significance and encouraging support for their preservation. These archives are more than just collections of documents; they are the custodians of memories, holding the stories of individuals who have been swept up in the currents of history. Through this film, we aim to underscore the importance of these memories and the urgent need to protect them.

We brought together a diverse array of voices for this documentary—academics, artists, and UNHCR employees who have personal connections to the archives. Their insights and experiences illuminate the profound impact of the archives and help to weave a narrative that is both informative and deeply moving.

By watching this short film, we hope you will not only gain a deeper understanding of the UNHCR Archives but also feel inspired to support their preservation. These archives are a testament to the resilience and humanity of those who have endured immense hardships, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure their stories are not forgotten. 

Read the story: UNHCR archives offers insights and inspiration in addressing forced displacement.