Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Moving videos inspire, instruct

I ran across two very powerful videos last week. The first, from the New York Times, is a simple, short video that follows families fleeing from violence in The Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012. 
Since last year, the situation has deteriorated in DRC. I'm especially concerned about families like these who have been scattered by a recent surge in the violence in eastern and southeastern Congo. Some 66,000 refugees have surged into western Uganda in the last week, including an estimated 2,000 pregnant women. In fact, five have given birth while fleeing. (For more, see an excellent article in today's Guardian-UK).

The second video, produced by UNHCR, tells the inspirational story of a Lebanese woman who has taken in a family of Syrian refugees. See:  http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p9i1EjPUcgU&sns=tw&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dp9i1EjPUcgU%26sns%3Dtw
This video is vintage peace journalism, in that it both empowers the voiceless (refugees) while seeking to bring communities together. During my trip to Lebanon earlier this summer, I learned first hand about animosity between Syrian refugees and their Lebanese hosts, so it was great to see some journalism that seeks to build bridges rather than destroy them. I will use this video in my classes.
Following my trip to Lebanon, I have become especially interested in Syria's refugees, and how they are treated by media in their host countries. In Lebanon, my students and I produced stories designed to fight stereotypes about refugees. To hear my audio report about Syrian refugees scraping by in Beirut, click here

In partnership with Lebanese and Turkish partners, I am currently working on a grant request for a peace journalism project that has a strong emphasis on coverage of Syrian refugees. I'll keep you posted.

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