World News

Darkness Over Paradise to be Screened June 16

3 June 2007 at 03:39 | 5027 views

Darkness Over Paradise is a documentary that was developed to expose the atrocities committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Another documentary, Cry Freetown, also seeks to expose the atrocities of the RUF and the regional military force ECOMOG in the 1999 military confrontations. These documentaries are similar to other documentaries like Sarafina and the Rwanda genocide.

These are rare films, drawing on unique materials and insights, and providing the human voices and indelible images of a conflict that has been reduced to statistics. The films offer unique insight into stories not yet widely known in Australia, and provide important background to the experiences of the growing Sierra Leonean community in Sydney’s west - many of whom have arrived in the last seven years.

Darkness Over Paradise was created by the Association of Sierra Leonean Journalists in Exile (ASALJIE) in partnership with Granville-based community arts and IT organisation Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE).

These films will screen at Parramatta Town Hall, Church Street by the train station on JUNE 16, at 8pm with the play The youth are not to Blame.

Local organization Sierra Unite is screening the documentary to raise funds for the shipment of a useable second hand items for the refugees and displaced youth in Sierra Leone, West Africa who are in dare need of assistance from all Australians and others to improve their lives.

Mr. Murray Kanneh, the Chairman of the association says, “that it is time we, Sierra Leoneans in this country start to reflect our minds to our suffering brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone to give a helping hand to them, because they don’t have the opportunity to come here,” “I am applying to all individual philanthropies and charitable organizations to come to our aid to help our 11-years war vulnerable people in Sierra Leone, he adds,”

ASALJIE was supported in making Darkness Over Paradise by ICE, through the ‘Emerge’ Emerging Communities Project, coordinated by Barry Gamba, and with arts consultant Paula Abood. Emerge works with newly-arrived communities in Western Sydney that have a limited history of settlement in Australia and who don’t have a lot of communications infrastructure or cultural development opportunities.

Darkness Over Paradise was developed in the SWITCH Multimedia and Digital Arts Access Centre, managed by ICE with support from Parramatta City Council and Arts NSW. The state-of-the-art multimedia centre and outreach program supports access and participation for local artists and communities who typically lack access to digital arts and new media technologies.

Contact details
Mr. Murray Kanneh, 0431301384/02-96305052
Tony Bee, 0431215434/02-97989357
Website: www.

Photo: Edmondson Sonny Cole, a Sierra Leonean photo-journalist working in Freetown in the days of president Momoh (in white in the background). Sonny now lives in Australia and he is one of the producers of the documentary Darkness over Paradise.