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Waseda Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies Colloquium Series

2022 Migration Lecture Series

“Hustle, abuse and making ends meet: work in Tokyo as a refugee asylum seeker” - Talk with film clips

Date and venue:

June 22 (Wednesday), 17:00-18:30 JST | Online (Zoom)



David Slater (Sophia University, Cultural Anthropologist)

Rosa Barbaran, Independent Filmmaker and Activist

David Slater has been working on vulnerable populations since 2011, including the survivors of the triple disasters in Tohoku, homeless men in Tokyo and now refugee and migrant issues through the student project, Refugee Voices Japan.

Rosa Barbaran is an aspiring independent filmmaker currently working on refugee life and politics in Tokyo while supporting the refugee community with her art and volunteer activities. She was a founding member of Sophia Refugee Support Group and after graduating she worked in Melbourne as a program Intern for Refugee Migrants Children Center.

David and Rosa collaborated on the article "The Whole Block Goes Down: Refugees in Japan’s detention centers during the pandemic" and on two films, Covid in Japanese Detention and Refugee in Religion.


With less than 1% of all refugee asylum applications ever getting accepted and very little to no money provided by the Japanese government, virtually all applicants have to work to survive. Unfortunately, applicants are prohibited from finding any gainful employment except in very limited circumstances. How do they survive and what are the costs, physical and psychological? We will lay out the situation and share some short film clips from our new film project: Refugee Work in Tokyo.

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