A group of Somali-Bantu women sit together at an April citizenship ceremony in Syracuse, New York.
For many refugee communities, like Syracuse’s Somali-Bantu community, the lack of educational resources in refugee camps can make applying for U.S. citizenship a particularly arduous process. Many of the 100 families that make up Syracuse’s Somali-Bantu population lived as long as 10 years in Kenyan refugee camps after fleeing their homes at the outbreak of Somalia’s civil war. There, a lack of resources led to high rates of illiteracy. Now, as they prepare to seek U.S. citizenship, they must not only adjust to English and master complex concepts, but learn basic reading and writing skills.
For over 45 years, Kartemquin Films has been making documentaries that examine and critique society through the stories of real people. This tumblr stays engaged with the social issues covered in our films.