Documentary to reveal effects of war

Sunday, a young Ugandan boy, dreams of becoming a doctor because he’s seen so much suffering. He has spent his childhood struggling with hunger, disease and death.

The boy is featured in Invisible Children Inc.’s newest documentary, “Black is for Sunday.”

Volunteers from Invisible Children Inc. will return to campus Feb. 19 and 20 to screen the documentary.

The documentary aims to reveal the greater effects of a 21-year war on the people of northern Uganda – specifically the Internally Displaced People camps.

IDP camps are inhabited by Ugandans who were forced from their homes to flee violence but have not crossed international borders, said Eric Cox, a political science professor. These camps differ from refugee camps, which are inhabited by those crossing international borders to flee violence and are protected by international law..

The documentary follows the life of Sunday and details his experiences living in one of the camps.

Cox said these camps have a history of breeding violence.

“IDP camps bring the persecuted group into one place, making them easier targets for their enemies,” he said.

Ashley Young, president of TCU’s Invisible Children United, compared IDP camps to concentration camps.

“People are growing up here,” she said. “Some have been here for 10 to 20 years – living on nothing.”

The new documentary should update the audience on the crisis, organizers said.

“It’s the same area, the same people and a different problem,” Young said.

Amy Barr, a volunteer with the organization who will be on campus today and Wednesday, said there was a reason for IDP camps when the Ugandan government needed a way to protect people from the rebel army, but there is no reason now.

“People in these camps have no way to work, and so there is this strong sense of hopelessness,” she said. “Thousands of people die each week of starvation, malnutrition and disease.” According to the Invisible Children Web site, more than 90 percent of the region’s population of almost 2 million people has been relocated into IDP camps.

“We just want the people to go home and be able to live their lives,” Barr said.

Young said this would never be allowed to happen in the U.S.

“Many American citizens think that Africa is a different world. No, this is one world,” she said.

In a Feb. 4 speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, Stephen Hadley, assistant to the president for national security affairs, said more needs to be done to end the war in Uganda.

The Invisible Children movement began after three young filmmakers from Southern California took a trip to Uganda and were inspired to create a documentary, “Invisible Children: Rough Cut,” about northern Uganda’s night commuters and child soldiers, Young said.

According to the Invisible Children Web site, the film has been seen by more than 2 million people.

Documentary screenings and presentations will be Feb. 19 and 20 at 8 p.m. in the Special Events Center at the University Recreation Center. “Black is for Sunday” will be shown both nights, Young said.

Young said about 700 people attended last year’s screenings but her goal is always bigger.

“We wanted to bring this event back to campus because it works,” she said. “When people don’t know about a problem, there’s no way to solve it.”