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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today's stream is sponsored by Maxie's

"Make Milwaukee": Burmese In Milwaukee

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Listen: Thus far in our week exploring cultural fusion in Milwaukee's creative community, we've seen art and artists where the cultures in question are thoroughly fused -- in this post, we explore a creative project built around the very first steps in that process.

When we think about the word "refugee," our first thoughts may not connect that idea to Milwaukee. However, whether we actively think about it or not, Milwaukee has a substantial refugee presence. To bring greater awareness to this part of our community, the International Institute of Wisconsin and the Public Allies are collaborating to put together a documentary film on that experience in Milwaukee. 

In this first piece, we hear how Amir Yasrebdoust's work with refugees, particularly Milwaukee's influx of Burmese people, inspired a documentary film:

audio=[http://www.radiomilwaukee.org/sites/default/files/mp3/podcast/MM%202011%20(Week%206%20-%20Amir)%20A.mp3]

I met Amir a few weeks back at an event and we spoke about this film -- I was so excited that time and energy is being devoted to spreading this story. Continue below to hear how the film is coming together.

In this piece, we get a look inside the production process of the film as well as a Burmese family's arrival and first steps into their new life in Milwaukee:

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Check out a small excerpt of footage the film crew shared with me from the family's arrival in the airport. There's something about those image -- it's not that I'm unfamiliar with the notion of a refugee arriving in an airport and starting a new life, but to see them at the baggage carousels and sitting in the chairs I know in Milwaukee is striking.