Amsterdam, 19 January 2018—Growing Home is an interactive web documentary that presents interviews with refugee gardeners in Domiz Camp, Iraq. In May of 2017, Scrollytelling travelled with a team from the Lemon Tree Trust to Northern Iraq to meet the gardeners and tell their stories. They are presented in Growing Home: a gorgeous online production that uses videos, text, audio and photography taken directly from the camp site.
In early 2017, online storytellers Martijn van Tol and Joost Baaij were contacted by Mikey Tomkins from the Lemon Tree Trust. Based on Martijn’s earlier work, the award-winning web documentary Refugee Republic, they inquired about the possibility of going back to Iraq to tell a different set of stories. Everything fell into place when photographer Dirk-Jan Visser once again committed to this new adventure as well.
The new stories from Domiz highlight the individual experiencers of Syrians who grew up peacefully surrounded by lush green, birds and water. When the violence of war made them refugees in Iraq on dry and dusty land, they started sowing flowers, plants and trees. Seed by seed. Cool oases, thriving places full of life started to appear. The individuals interviewed for this documentary were part of a 2017 Garden Competition run by the Lemon Tree Trust. Their sometimes poignant, often incredible and always powerful stories are presented in the online production www.growinghome.earth.
There are 10 short, one-minute videos, as well as three longer interactive pieces that take a more in-depth look at what it means to be a refugee. This interactive web documentary is commissioned by the Lemon Tree Trust which supports the development of urban agriculture & greening innovation for refugees and displaced people, while promoting food production, well-being & community building. They have granted the creative team producing this documentary full journalistic autonomy.
The producers would like to thank the many gardeners in the camp that agreed to participate in this project: Avine Ismail, Khaled Ismail, Nohad Kalash, Amal Ali Abdo, Sheikmous Isa, Amal & Rama Mourad, Ahmed Tamo, Na’ama Ibrahim, Khalil Mohammed and Jomaa Hassan.
Start exploring the gardens and gardeners of Domiz Camp on www.growinghome.earth.
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 4 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.
Concept, interviews, text, audio: Martijn van Tol
Film & photography: Dirk-Jan Visser
Development: Vincent Kranendonk & Joost Baaij
Art director: Hamid Sallali
Music composed by: Bonno Lange
Translators Iraq: Shiar Mohammad, Rahma Al-khash
Translators Amsterdam: Amsterdam: Peshmerge Morad, Cecily Layzell
Introduction video editor: Aart Jan van der Linden