Katarzyna Grabska, associate researcher at CEDEJ Khartoum and at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies of Geneva (IHEID), coordinated from January 2014 to December 2015 the research programme « Time to Look at Girls: Adolescent Girls Migration and Development » with Nicoletta Del Franco and Marina de Regt (with the support of the Swiss Network of International Studies – SNIS).
This research programme resulted in the making of “2 Girls” (2016), a documentary by Marco Speroni. “2 Girls”, which focuses on the migration trajectories of two teenage girls in Bangladesh and Ethiopia, was rewarded twice in 2016, winning the Grand Prix for the Best Foreign Film at the Warsaw International HumanDoc Film Festival and the Rome International Film Festival (RIFF) Award for the Best Italian Documentary.
“2 Girls” tells the story of Lota and Tigist, two girls living in two very different countries, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, who are linked by the same journey. They were both born in rural areas, they both faced poverty or abuse. Their only option was to run away. Their next destinations were the mega-cities of Dhaka and Addis Ababa. They embark on parallel, incredibly harsh journeys through which they meet their destinies. In Dhaka, young girls like Lota work in garment factories, which are a sort of slammer, exposed to every kind of imposition and restriction. In Addis Ababa, young girls like Tigist quickly fall into the hell of sex work on the streets or in hotels. Yet, despite their tough lives, they reveal an inner strength and great dignity. They come from poverty, they fall into even worse conditions, but they never stop striving to improve their state. They both fight for a life that – maybe tomorrow – will be better.