‘There is no one remotely like Tomo Kriznar. Over decades, with singular courage and conviction he has journeyed through the most remote and perilous parts of Darfur and Southern Sudan documenting atrocities, taking photographs and compiling information that is as invaluable as his humanitarian endeavours.’
Tomo Križnar, born in 1954, is a Slovenian writer, documentary film maker, human rights activist, journalist and a worldwide traveller.
In 1980, Tomo accompanied by a donkey, two goats and four hens, set off illegally to the Nuba Mountains in central Sudan. The naked »savages« tested him and after that invited him to stay. They offered him a traditional hut, a piece of land to cultivate and one, two, three girls to marry. He stayed for four months, served as an apprentice to the local witch doctor and learnt to respect the happy healthy tribal folk. He named them Pure People. It wasn’t until 1995 that he heard about the genocide in the Nuba Mountains from the book »Facing Genocide: The Nuba of Sudan«. In 1998 he legally entered Sudan by boat from Egypt and travelled by bicycle all the way up the Nile to capital Khartoum. He penetrated into war areas no foreigners were able to enter for over a decade.
Since 1998 Tomo has been returning to rebel-held mountains every year. In 1999 he published a book »Nuba – the Pure People«. In 2000 and 2001 he produced documentary films »Nuba, the Pure People« and »Nuba, Voices from the Other Side« which attracted the attention of international human rights institutions.
He has been lobbying for peace in Sudan with human rights activist, UN humanitarian agencies, the European Community, the US government and other influential institutions round the globe ever since.
In February 2006 Tomo Kriznar became a special emissary for the former Slovenian president Janez Drnovsek to the western Sudanese province of Darfur. The then president had launched a campaign to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Sudanese war-ravaged region of Darfur.
In 2008 Tomo’s documentary ‘Dar Fur – War for Water’ was the first film about Darfur that enabled the rest of the world to have an insight into the mentality of the rebels in Darfur and events that took place from February to June 2006. His documentary reveals that war in Darfur is not merely a war of people in Darfur against Arabic greed for oil and natural resources in Sudan, but it is above all - due to climatic changes - war for water.
This film received international and national awards: Premio Internazionale Cartagine Award in Verona for peace, universal rights and journalism; the award for best documentary film at Ecozine 2009, an International Environmental Film Festival in Zaragoza (Spain); a prestigious Slovenian award in media and popular culture, Viktor 2009 for best documentary film.
At the beginning of December 2010, Tomo Kriznar with the help of H.O.P.E. organisation managed to secretly get a new shipment of one hundred video cameras to Darfur through Chad for preventing violence over the civil population as well as the first two devices for sending video images to the World Wide Web over a satellite. The humanitarian project was a success. The small spy cameras which cost only a little over 10 EUR in China were more effective than 20,000 soldiers of the United Nations and the African Union put together.
Tomo is currently in Sudan trying to help the people of Darfur with a drilling rig placed on a truck so that they will be able to tap into the largest underground lake on the planet providing them with a safe supply of drinking water.
Oil and Water is his latest book, published in December 2010.
Tomo Križnar's books:
- »On Search for Love or Around the World by Bicycle« (1990)
- »Shambala - to Tibet by Bicycle« (1993)
- »Lonely paths« (1994)
- »Mana, by Bicycle among Indians« (1996)
- »Nuba, pure people« (1999)
- »Oil and Water« (2010)
All books are bestselers and regularly reprinted.
- »Lonely paths« (1995)
- »Nuba, pure people« (2000)
- »Nuba, voices from the other side« (2001)
- »Dar Fur – War for Water« (2008) (English narrative and/or subtitles)
- »Eyes and Ears of God - Video surveillance of Sudan« (2012) (English narrative and/or subtitles)