An epic story of wartorn childhoods, redemption and renewal, shattered hopes and perseverance. In 1989, a childhood friendship is filmed by journalist Patrice Barrat in a Sudanese refugee camp by day, whilst the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) train the children for brutal militia activity at night. In 1991 the camp is bombed, the children thought dead. 23 years later, these 3 extraordinary lives inexplicably reconnect as they work toward peace and reconciliation within their own lives and for the future of South Sudan.
This story is told through the life of David Nyuol Vincent and side characters; Emmanuel Jal (his childhood friend in the camps with whom he lost touch and thought dead, but is now a famous international rap artist working for peace) and Patrice Barrat, the man who filmed them and connected the world to Sudan’s plight through images of their lost innocence. David himself rebuilt his life, earning a BA double major in criminology and political science at Melbourne University, establishing himself as a community leader in Australia, and subsequently return to South Sudan to assist in the restoration of peace. As this is being written, violence has erupted anew partly due to the Nuer followers of Dr Riek Machar, adoptive father of David’s childhood companion Emmanuel Jal. In a further twist of irony, David had been working recently with Dr Riek for reconcilliation in South Sudan and to restore peace. As the potential for renewed civil war in South Sudan looms large, David’s continuing story with Patrice, Emmanuel and Dr Riek examines the potential and impact of personal choice amongst the forces of politics and policy in both warring and peaceful nations.
David and Jal are also Dinka and Nuer respectively. Using their friendship as an example they are planning to work together in 2014 on a project promoting peace and reconciliation in South Sudan. They recently learned of the existence of Patrice Barrat – a once distant ‘powerful’ Western man who came with cameras and supplies to the refugee camp to tell their story. David has invited Patrice to be involved in this project and so once again they will meet but this time under very different circumstances. Now in 2014 Patrice has the same goals as David and Jal - through his NGO, Bridge Initiative International, he works with governments and stakeholders in conflict zones. When the world ignored South Sudan in crisis Patrice refused to turn a blind eye. Now he would like to be part of a positive push forward for their new nation.