ONE MAN'S MISSION TO GET TWO BOYS OFF AN ELECTRONIC WASTE DUMP AND INTO THE WORLD
When Abdallah was growing up as an orphan in Northern Ghana, his grandmother taught him the importance of education to find his own way in the world. When she died, he travelled south in search of work and found himself in Agbogbloshie, a commercial district in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Agbogbloshie has one of the world’s biggest electronic waste dumps, home to 100,000 people. He spent long days enduring gruelling physical work and inhaling toxic fumes as he burned plastic off wires to extract valuable copper. This work financed Abdallah’s education and inspired him later to help children escape Agbogbloshie for a better life. Interested in how the media was portraying Agbogbloshie and its residents, Abdallah built a children’s play centre and began a film project with two 12-year-old boys, Kofi and Lartey, to give them the opportunity to tell their own story. When a huge flood hit Accra, killing 150 people, it plunged the city into chaos. This included forced eviction of tenants as government agents bulldozed their homes and demolished Abdallah’s children’s centre. Abdallah felt silenced and defeated but encouraged the boys themselves to film the world around them and reveal their true dreams and ambitions for their future.
This is their story.
There has been much documentation of Agbogbloshie in recent years, but in most cases it has come from a sensational perspective. I wanted to tell a human story from within the environment, a story that the audience could relate to and empathise with - a story of human strength within the harshest of environments, a real life Wall-E. It was important for me to bring insight into what it is really like to live and work in such a toxic environment from an insider's perspective. Of all the documentaries I have seen on Agbogbloshie, the interaction with the locals has been stilted and tense, but I believe children are innocent reflections of the adult world and by working closely with the younger generation we can offer an original viewpoint of life on the e-waste dump.
"WITHOUT EDUCATION KIDS WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO LEAVE AGBOGBLOSHIE. AND THAT IS MY WISH" - Abdallah
Director - Sasha Rainbow
Producer - Harriette Wright
Executive Producers - Placebo
Co-Producers Romain Daubeach, Jonas Ramuz, Alasdair Mitchell
Director of Photography - Pau Castejon Ubeda
Original Music - Tom Furse
Lead Editor - David Higgs
Additional Editors - Nik Hindson, Joan Amorim
Grade - Jax Harney
Sound Design - Guy Henderson
Sound Mix - Raj Vivekananthan
Director's Assistant - Laura Duncan
In association with