If Lia Grace Simon could follow her dreams, her children would go to the best schools, she would work in her own private hospital and her new house would be built by now. But Lia Grace cannot follow her dreams. Because Lia Grace is from South Sudan, a country that has been engulfed in war since 2013 and is, according to the UN, descending into the next African genocide.
When the South Sudanese government started hunting Lia Grace after falsely accusing her of helping the rebel forces, she had no choice but to flee the country. She was forced into hiding, leaving her four children behind without knowing what would happen to them. They were apart for over seven months. But on the 17th of January 2017 they met again. Not back home, but in Palorinya refugee camp in Northern Uganda. Since that day, they have been trying to start their lives over, and start to built up their dreams again. But that is not an easy task when you have lost everything.
A Call From Water Tank 6 premiered in May 2017.
Documentary filmmakers Simon Forsberg, Emmi van den Boom and Tove Tikkanen Jönn travelled to Northern Uganda beginning of 2017. They met Lia Grace on the day of her arrival in the refugee camp and started following her over the period of two months while she and her family settled down in the camp. They used limited equipment due to the heat, hard conditions in the camp and because they were only a small team. This is their first documentary. A Call From Water Tank 6 was selected for several international festivals and won the Grand Jury Prize at Telling Tales International Film and Audio Documentary Festival in Manchester.
Together with the documentary the makers made a series portraits of some of Lia Grace’s neighbors in the camp. They interviewed them about their hopes and dreams. The portrait series was selected for Uppsala Foto Festival in Uppsala and the exhibition Höstsalongen at Fotografiska in Stockholm, the most important photography museum in Sweden.
The makers also decided to start a crowdfunding page to help Lia Grace and her family get out of the camp. Within 24 hours they reached their goal and collected over $1000,-. Lia Grace used this money beginning of 2018 to get her children into a good boarding school, give medical help to a friend who was sick with cancer and to move out of the camp herself. She is currently looking for a job and her children are doing great in school. She also continues to support her family members and friends that are left in the camp. [Latest update: September 2018]
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