In the winter of 2015 the world faced the biggest refugee crisis since WW II. People escaping war, persecution and poverty reached Idomeni, the Greek-FYROM border that became a symbol of Europe’s excluding character. The ethnographic film Going Illegal, a border Diary, an outcome of a politically engaged ethnographic research, depicts the crisis through the actions of a transnational activist network that was formed alongside local initiatives in response to Europe’s harshening Immigration policies. Aiming to help those rejected at the frontier, who often faced detention and deportation, the network advocated the right to freedom of movement as a fundamental human right, challenging notions such as legality, illegality, borders and nation- states.
Anna Wilma Xilakis was born in Hamburg, Germany to a Greek father and a German mother. She studied Archaeology and History of Art at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki alongside music theory. In 2014 she continued her studies in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology with a specialization in ethnographic documentary. Going Illegal, a border diary is her first feature length ethnographic film produced in the frame of her studies in Leiden University.