What makes a home? In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this topic is as relevant as ever. For months, people have been confined within the four walls of their homes, serving us as schools, workplaces and more. The subject of “home” is something IKEA has always been curious to explore and understand. As a result, the brand initiated and funded the critically acclaimed award-winning documentary “The Human Shelter: An Expedition into What Makes A Home” together with the director Boris B. Bertram.
Starting 5 October, the UN-Habitat will be streaming the film for free for five weeks as part of Urban October 2020. UN-Habitat’s focus is “Housing for All” and the fundamental human right to housing in a world where 1.8 billion people currently live in unacceptable housing conditions. This is a concern that IKEA is highly engaged in supporting.
“At IKEA, we believe a better everyday life starts with a better home. What makes a good home is, of course, very individual, but it starts with a place where you feel safe and can be together with the people you love. And that is what this film so beautifully manifests. I’m very excited that the film now will be available to the many people during Urban October. I hope people will like it and feel touched by the different stories in it, just as I was,” says Jeanette Skjelmose, Deputy Managing Director at IKEA of Sweden.
Since its release, the film has been touring the film festival circuit, gaining a lot of acclaim along the way. Just recently, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) – being the starting point of the film – chose to stream it for free during a week in September. “The Human Shelter” is a poetic and cinematic examination of what defines a home, expressed through personal stories from different parts of the world.
The film brings its viewers on a journey to four continents, visiting hot spots of a planet challenged by climate change, migration and growing urbanization. As a viewer, you will visit the snowy white landscapes of northern Norway, a refugee camp in Iraq, a NASA habitat in Hawaii, tiny living quarters in Tokyo, and more.
The film was made with support from IKEA, giving the director full creative freedom over his work. Boris B. Bertram is a Danish award-winning documentary maker interested in conflict resolution, everyday poetry and humanitarianism.
“During my career, I’ve filmed people fleeing from war and natural disasters, people in motion and without homes. ’Shelter’ is the first concept we have of a home. A place where we’re supposed to feel safe. That’s how the idea for making the film came up,” says Boris B. Bertram.
Take the opportunity to join us on a cinematic journey that explores the meaning of home, meeting unique people and places along the way.
“Urban October” is a UN-Habitat initiative that offers an opportunity for everyone to be part of the conversation about the challenges and opportunities created by the fast rate of change in our cities and towns. Each October, everyone interested in sustainable urbanization from national and local governments to universities, NGOs and communities are encouraged to hold or participate in activities, events, and discussions. The month begins with World Habitat Day on the first Monday of the month, 5 October in 2020, and ends with World Cities Day on 31 October. Activities can take place on those specific days or at any time during the month.
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