Sound of Color
is a documentary about hearing the voice of refugee youths from Syria, who live in southern California. After years of exile with their parents in the early childhood, their dreams still remain beautiful and strong.
In the city of El Cajon, there live over 5,000 Syrian refugee and other middle eastern refugee settlers. Their families normally have 6 to 8 children, ranging from toddler-age to twenty-four years old. Children escaped the Syrian civil war with their parents first to neighboring countries like Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan. Several years later, they were displaced again to Europe, the far east, Australia, Canada, or the United States. No one wants to be a refugee nor does one want to be born into a refugee family.
However these youth are experiencing double plights at an early age without even realizing their situation. Instead of playing on a nice lawn with friends, living in a safe and stable house with parents, and freely enjoying their lives as many children in the world do, these youths have experienced tremendous trauma from the war. Their childhood memories have been loaded with the scary sounds of gunfire and bombs, people’s wailing over death, and the silent sound of constant fear in their exile. Among millions and millions of Syrian refugees, children and youth are those whose internal sufferings along the exile journey are most likely to be overlooked because the humanitarian needs are huge.
This documentary wants to provide a safe space for these refugee youths and encourage them to share their untold stories and dreams through creative ways. Stephen Hawking once said, “So long as you are alive, there is hope.” These young refugees ran away from the war zone with their parents and reached a safer ground. They certainly survived calamity and remain alive, but they also have lost their identities and nationalities at the same time. The exile seems not only to have exhausted their patience but also has added so much uncertainty and deep confusion to their identities and future. However, it is simply touching and inspiring for others to hear their dreams in the future because it is so precious to see that the seeds of hope have been well-kept in their hearts and have not been stolen by the war and the suffering of their early lives.