Real Talkies

Real Talkies

Every cut is a lie. It’s never that way. Those two shots were never next to each other in time that way. But you’re telling a lie in order to tell the truth. –Wolf Koenig.

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MOBILE PHONES AND RAPE the CONGO CONNECTION

June 17, 2011 , , , , , , ,

A survey conducted by UK based Thompson Reuters Foundation ranks Afghanistan, Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia the five most dangerous countries for women to live in. In these countries basic human rights are systematically denied to women. Though this might be the harsh reality for the majority of the women in these countries, the intent of the series of articles in Real Talkies, on each one of these nations is to showcase possibilities and share documentaries that shed light into the problem

2. Congo has epic proportions of sexual violence and rape. Women have almost no legal rights without a husband’s authorization. In the democratic republic of congo, rape is a weapon of war. Since 1999 over 5 million people have perished making it one of the deadliest conflict. The instability in Congo and the lures of mineral money further fuels and sustains this unspeakable violence inflicted on the women of Congo.

BLOOD IN THE MOBILE

Phones are essentially financing the war in Congo. Minerals used in the cell phones come from the mines in Eastern Congo. These mines and the transportation of the minerals are controlled by the different armed groups. According to human rights organizations, the purchase of the minerals from the conflict zone funds the bloodiest civil war since world war II.

WOMEN ON THE FRONTLINE – DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Though the minerals did not start the war, it is what is sustaining and prolonging it now. In the democratic republic of congo, women bear the brunt of a 10 year war in the eastern provinces, a spill over from Rwanda genocide. This bbc show explains the origin of the conflict and the impact on the women.

THE GREATEST SILENCE: RAPE IN THE CONGO

Poster of documentary: The greatest Silence: Rape in the congo

Rape is the strongest and most brutal weapon of war against women. “The Greatest Silence” was made by Lisa Jackson a survivor of gang rape herself. Lisa shared her experience with the women of congo and in response the women recount their stories of chilling barbarity. This film finally broke the silence that surrounds their plight. While the documentary allows the women to share their stories, women continue to get raped and victimized as the conflict continues to be sustained.

PUSHING THE ELEPHANT

In the 90s, Rose Mapendo lost her family and home to the violence that engulfed Congo. She emerged advocating forgiveness and reconciliation and is a vital voice  in her nation’s search for peace. Rose separated from her 5 year old daughter Nangabire and escaped with 9 out of her 10 children and resettled in Arizona. A decade later, she is reunited with her daughter. The film follows a year in the life of the mother and daughter who try to make up for time lost, move past their painful past and redefine themselves as women and survivors.

Rose’s family like those of some “lucky refugees” atleast have the opportunity to reconcile and find peace. But for the majority women of congo, violence is omni present as long as the war continues. And the war will continue as long as the armed groups can finance their warfare by selling minerals. The world is too damn globalized for our actions not to have consequences far and wide. But are we responsible for the Rapes in Congo indirectly? How can we act or respond? TAKE ACTION

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  1. INDIA: THE MISSING GIRLS – A SOCIETY OUT OF BALANCE | Real Talkies reblogged this and added:

    […] survey conducted by UK based Thompson Reuters Foundation ranks Afghanistan, Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia the five most dangerous countries for women to live in. In these […]

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