Through The Fire is a photo-essay and short film about hope returning to Somalia after two decades of war and famine. Through the stories of inspirational Somali women, we will see how survivors of the conflict use their personal tragedies to compel themselves and their community to forge ahead, instead of remaining hapless victims of circumstances.
A little bit about Somalia...
Somalia was once a functional country, and it's capital, Mogadishu, was considered one of the most vibrant cities in Africa. But since the fall of dictator Siad Barre in 1991, the country has plunged into more than two decades of civil war. With virtually no central government for two decades, control of different parts of Somalia has gone back and forth between warlords, transitional government, and Al-Qaeda linked militants. The instability has caused hundreds of thousands of Somalis to flee from their homes and live in temporary camps.
So why make a film now?
The Somali Transitional Government and African Union troops have regained control over much of the country, including the capital of Mogadishu, as Al-Qaeda linked militants retreat further into the corner.
This means for the first time in 21 years, the country has a real chance at peace and the women, a chance to live, work, and study more openly.
With elections slated in August, we would like to document the epoch of a new era and show Somalis as a strong and resilient people. We hope this will challenge the conventional Western understanding of Somalia - or Africa as a whole - as helpless and war-addled.
How can I help?
The best way is by contributing to this Kickstarter project. Campaigns on Kickstarter are an "all or nothing" deal, meaning that if we don't reach our target of $12,800, we get nothing (and none of the backers are charged any money).
Secondly, you can spread the word to your friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter, and email!
What is the Kickstarter money for?
The money is primarily for three things: transportation, accommodation, and food.
Somalia is still a hostile environment, which requires a secure place to sleep and safe transport to get around. That gets expensive. The budget of $12800 is what we've figured out as the minimum needed to get to Somalia and work there safely long enough to get this film done.
Who we are:
Eunice Lau: Videographer
Eunice Lau is a former Al-Jazeera producer who has abandoned the constraints of corporate journalism to continue her passion for storytelling as a filmmaker.
Her documentary “The Trouble With Waiting” on Cambodia’s civil war won the Grand Jury prize at Pusan International Short Film Festival in 2008. Her documentary “Hero” on Thailand’s political conflict was nominated for “Best Documentary” and “Best Editing” at Watersprite International Film Festival 2012 in Cambridge, U.K.
Arthur Nazaryan: Photographer
Arthur Nazaryan taught himself photography while studying philosophy at the University of Stony Brook. His work has appeared in the New York Times, BBC, Christian Science Monitor, Common Language Project, and Huffington Post. for whom he also maintains a photo-blog.
Sarah Winfield: Producer
Sarah Winfield is a Cambridge University graduate and independent producer with a longstanding zeal for international development. As a film-maker, she has a special interest in documentaries as a means for encouraging cross-cultural and inter-generational understanding. She is a founding member of Tripos Productions, the Cambridge Media and Film Academy (CAMFA) and Watersprite Film Festival.
******Video Editing and Graphic Design by George Carrara*****