Forty years ago, she fled with her parents from Lebanon to Greece. Now filmmaker Cynthia Choucair sees how history is repeating itself. The Greek island of Lesbos is being flooded with refugees. It’s an ideal spot for Clowns Without Borders, an organisation that welcomes refugees with humour and cheerfulness, as an antidote to fear and mistrust. Red nose on, bubbles ready to be blown: the group of volunteers is prepared. But where are the refugees?
Gigantic piles of life jackets and deserted boats are the only traces the clowns can find, now that the authorities are more refined in coping with the arrivals. Things have been standardised in a way that leaves little space for contact between Europeans and refugees, while that can have such a cathartic effect. Frustrating, but the volunteers in Counting Tiles continue to work for free. "I don’t want anything back, not even gratitude", says one of them. Hopeful thought, in a time when the accent is all too often on thinking as an enemy.