Social Justice Day screening of ‘Push’

To mark the World Day of Social Justice in Brussels, Ciné-ONU partnered with the Swedish Embassy, RBDH, Feantsa and Housing Europe to screen Push to an audience of over two hundred at Cinéma Galeries.

The film follows the advocacy work of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha as she visits people and communities facing housing problems. In the end, Farha, her team and mayors around the world start a movement called ‘The Shift’ to tackle this global problem together.

Following the screening, there was an engaging panel discussion with Sorcha Edwards, Secretary-General of Housing Europe, Ruth Owen, Deputy Director of FEANTSA, Anne-Sophie Dupont, Project Manager of RBDH and Frédéric J. Saliez, Deputy Chief of UN-Habitat Office.

Speakers at CineONU screening of Push

The discussion opened with the panellists sharing their thoughts on the film, many of them praising its depiction of the often-forgotten human aspect of the global housing crisis and its effectiveness in conveying the work of the UN Special Rapporteur. “[Push] is a brilliant testimony to what Leilani Farha has done. Very few have done so much” said Ruth Owen.

A discussion followed on possible solutions to the housing crisis and the role of the individual, “the film speaks to individual responsibility” said Frédéric J. Saliez. Sorcha Edwards also highlighted the need to “empower people locally to combat the situation”. That said, the panellists warned against fuelling oppositions of local versus global responsibility. “[It’s] a false opposition, it’s not one or the other, it’s both” said Ruth Owen. Anne-Sophie Dupont also advocated for the empowerment of local people in order to remind the state of its responsibility.

The film and the panel discussion made it clear that there is still a long way to go in resolving the housing crisis. According to FEANTSA at least 700,000 people in Europe are homeless each night.

The panel finished on a note of optimism, pointing to the fact that in the production and screening of the film itself people are finally talking about this issue. Sorcha Edwards concluded that the work of prominent experts gives her hope:

“We have experts working relentlessly to address this problem and a key hope is the work of researchers”.

For more information about the film click here;
To see pictures from the evening, click here;
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