Here at Enough, we often swap emails with interesting articles and feature stories that we come across in our favorite publications and on our favorite websites. We wanted to share some of these stories with you as part of our effort to keep you up to date on what you need to know in the world of anti-genocide and crimes against humanity work.
Note: This Friday, as I continue to sort through email and news after time away from high-speed internet, I’m being liberal with the definition of “this week.” Some of this stuff I just discovered this week, but it’s too good to pass up.
Storytelling is an important part of what we do here at Enough; we’re always trying to do more of it and do it better. As advocates it’s a key part of our job, to give life to stories of people who – for a variety of reasons ranging from language barriers to fear of persecution – aren’t able to speak for themselves. I’m always on the lookout for tips, so this pep talk from master storyteller Ira Glass of This American Life really resonated. In sum, his message on storytelling? “We all suck at it before we get better.” (Hat tip to Citizen of the World Inc. blog for the video and the quote.)
On a related note, check out this interview with Taylor Krauss, executive director of Voices of Rwanda by the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Bridget Conley Zilkic.Voices of Rwanda is working to document the stories of genocide survivors in Rwanda –not just stories of their traumatic experience and the aftermath but of their whole lives. Sometimes the process takes 10 hours, Krauss says. Film of the testimonies will be collected in libraries and museums around the world, but as Krauss explains, for him, the documentation is about much more than creating an archive. “I feel it’s our obligation to listen to survivors and to listen with our whole selves, not simply because the testimonies can mean something to the world, but because the listening process actually means something to the survivor.”
And finally, one more on this theme. Writing for Foreign Policy this week, Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) highlights the State Department’s efforts to deploy tools like Twitter and urges them to do it more. He makes note of a new project in Congo in particular. Isn’t it refreshing to see our elected officials getting creative about the U.S. role in the world, advocating for giving tools to people on the ground so that they can tell their own stories?
The NYT’s blog The Lens featured the black and white photographs of Cedric Gerbehaye, who has made multiple trips to eastern Congo to document the effect of the conflict on individuals. “I’m not looking for the combat,” he said. “I’m interested in trying to tell the story of the people.” (The theme continues…)
Daniel Gerstle of Change.org’s War and Peace blog provided this useful explanation and insights on the food controversy in Somalia—the World Food Program was forced to pull out of especially volatile parts of the country, leaving a million people at risk.