Two 'Lost Boys' of Sudan will be Featured at Event

By Barb Lang

The One World Art, Literature and Film Festival will continue on Monday, April 28 with a three-part event featuring food, art, and a panel discussion.  All activities will take place on the University of Wisconsin-Barron County campus in Rice Lake.

On April 21, the festival hosted a free film viewing of “God Grew Tired of Us,” a documentary that explored the plight of three “Lost Boys of Sudan” who were part of a mass exodus from southern Sudan during a civil war.  These people spent years wandering throughout Africa facing starvation, sickness, death, and perils from wild animals.  Two of the activities on Monday, April 28 will feature “Lost Boys” John Bul Dau and Bol Aweng.

According to event coordinator Lee Friederich, “UW-Barron County is truly honored to host two of the Lost Boys of Sudan, John Bul Dau and Bol Aweng.” 

The day will begin with A Taste of Nations from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. in the Commons.  This event, hosted by the One World International Club at UW-Barron County, will feature “tastes” of the many nations that make up the UW-Barron County student body, with dishes from Thailand, Mexico, Somalia, China, Norway, Greece, the US, and others.  The event will be held under a new installation of flags representing the UW-Barron County students and staff, including several tribal nations in our area.  The flags were recently donated by the new CEO and Dean at UW-Barron County, Dr. Dean Yohnk. 

The Taste of Nations will be followed at 6:00 p.m. with “Two Lost Boys of Sudan,” a gallery talk by artist Bol Aweng, whose paintings chronicle many of his early experiences as a refugee.  This art work, “A Lost Boy of Sudan: Bol Aweng,” will be on display in the Joel Salter Art Gallery from April 28 – May 3.  UW-BC art professor Ginnie Baer will give a brief overview of Aweng’s art in the context of multicultural art in the United States and help facilitate discussion following Aweng’s gallery talk.

The audience will then move into the theatre where refugee/survivor John Bul Dau, author of “God Grew Tired of Us” and director of a foundation that supports a clinic in Southern Sudan, will speak and take questions from the audience.  Dau will be joined on stage for questions by Aweng in a discussion that will be moderated by UW-BC Anthropology and Sociology Professor Jayant Anand.

All of these events are free of charge and open to the public.

The next event to be hosted by the One World Art, Literature and Film Festival will be the showing of the documentary “Being Hmong Means Being Free” at 7:00 p.m. in the Rice Lake Public Library on Wednesday, May 7.

The series is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports and creates programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.

For more information contact Project Director Lee Friederich, UW-BC professor of English, at or 715-234-8176.


Lee Friederich