In November 2015, I got a text from a friend: Someone was looking for a cameraperson to document a project in Uganda. Would I be interested? The next day Raffael, an Israeli artist, told me about his project with a group of deported South Sudanese refugees and sent me a link to a TV program about them. By the time I finished watching, my eyes were tearing, and I was set on going. In Uganda, I fell in love with the refugee children. Their strength, their generosity, and their honesty. In Raffael, I discovered a fascinating artist with a remarkable personal history and profound thought process.
When the sculpture was selected to be shown at a museum, I edited a short film to accompany it. That’s when I realized that this story deserved deeper probing and set out to work on “8000 Paperclips.”
In the film, I examine several questions:
What is the role of art in healing from trauma? Is spending money on enrichment projects justified when resources are limited? What are the best ways to empower refugees, to help them regain self-confidence and respect? What is there in the human connection that is so elusive and yet extremely powerful?
I do not claim to know the answers to these questions, but I’d like the viewers to explore them with me and connect.
We are all fragile paperclips, each in his own little pile. But how much stronger could we all be if we could connect across borders and made-up divides with other human beings?