About a year ago we received a facebook message from a mysterious Mr. Mikey who appeared to be an artist, researcher and practitioner in urban agriculture, but then working in refugee camps! He had seen the work we did with our interactive documentary Refugee Republic (in which we focussed on daily live in a refugee camp as an emerging city) and happened to be working in the same camp Domiz in northen Iraq as we were in 2014, only arriving a few months later.

Mikey and his team form the Lemon Tree Trust are on a mission to green refugee camps, one garden at a time. Farming and gardening so it seems adds enormous value to the quality of life and wellbeing of people that happened to have ended up in a refugee camp. Specially Syrian people we spoke with have a deeply felt, emotional relationship with the trees and plants they grow and take care of as if they cared for their children, but also the birds, rabbits and other animals.

After inspiring conversations on the phone we received Mr Mikey and his conspirator Carrie Perkins form the Lemon Tree Trust with a truly Dutch cheese lunch in Amsterdam, and during that short window of time, we laid the foundations for what will become an interactive documentary on the work of the lemon tree Trust in Domiz Camp.

We have ust returned form the camp and spoke to some amazing people who trusted us with their stories. They all experienced horror in one way or the other and had to flee their homes and start their lives anew in a diferent country with the mere shirt on their backs. But what follows is as much a story of versatileness, optimism and hope. Thanks to Khaled The Birdman with his adventurous heart, and thanks to Zahra and Nohad who are planting for peace and permanence, and thanks to Avine who in spite of everything embodies the sun and stars of hope in the streets of the emerging city of former Refugee Camp Domiz.

Thank you to all the people living in Camp Domiz who were, again, so very hospitable, and allowed us to interfere in their daily lives with our camera’s, sound recorders and our questions. Spas!

In our Amsterdam studio we will start the post production process with chief technical operations Joost Baaij, storyteller and sound guy Martijn van Tol, designer Hamid Sallali, developer Vincent Kranendonk, and tranlator Peshmerga Morad. The documentary will be finished in September 2017.

About Scrollytelling

Scrollytelling enables storytellers to create online stories. We do this using our Software-as-a-Service which is offered in the form of a subscription. To our customers, we offer unprovoked editorial feedback, ensuring all stories are told in the most appealing way.

The company launched in January 2016. Its founders Martijn van Tol and Joost Baaij are an unstoppable internet storytelling engine. Or a tank, maybe. Since launch, they have reached over 3 million souls worldwide. On average, one story is created every day. Most stories have images, words and video and a great many have background audio tracks too. The only limit is in the imagination of the storyteller. Visit the contact page if you want to reach out to us.