Tuesday, 1 December 2009

MANCHESTER PHOTOGRAPHY puts on it's serious head for a moment and humbly asks you to give your support to this project that DUCKRABBIT have been involved with . Benjamin from DUCKRABBIT writes below:

The strongest thing about this project is that all you hear is the voices of the Congolese affected by the violence. Its edited in a very straight forward way and according to the same principles I observed as a documentary maker at the BBC. Its all about the people and their stories.

Here is my own personal write up:

It's the world's deadliest conflict since the second world war and yet the majority of people have never heard of it. According to the IRC at least at least 5 million Congolese have died in more than a decade of conflict sparked off by the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda. Most of the deaths are linked to a lack of medical facilities as the ability to access medical care in Eastern Congo has crumbled with the war. The four videos on the Condition Critical website give voice to the pain and trauma of those caught up in the conflict, bearing witness to their dignity and attempts to survive the conflict.

Told only in their own voices all the website asks you to do is send a message of support. At first that might sound a bit daft. I mean why send a message of support to people I know nothing of? Surely what they need is cash, right? Well first off if you watch the videos you can find out a little about their lives, that they're not that much different to you and me except that they've been caught up in an unforgiving conflict. Secondly messages of support do make a difference. I know this because last year I worked in camps in Kenya and the thing that people were most frightened of was being forgotten, the sense that no-one cared. That's what leads to depression and despair. Worse than that, when no-one cares people get away with murder, literally.

So the fact that
MSF will take these messages and share them in the camps and clinics will make a difference. It will also give a huge morale boost to the MSF staff working in Eastern Congo.

People can do four great things:

1. Leave a message of solidarity on the map
2. Twitter about it and link to it on Facebook (for Twitter use #conditioncritical)
3. Embed one of the video's on their blogs.
4. Write something about the project

I'm not being paid to write this, my work for MSF stopped when I delivered the video, but editing these brave peoples voices has made me care and left me feeling a little of the burden of their pain. I also think by doing something you're supporting NGO's to take a more journalistic approach to their work, working with photographers to create great work, rather then just telling you how great they are as an organisation, how fucked everyone else is, and can I have a fiver a month by direct debit please?

I've included the embed code of one of the videos but if you decide to do some thing on this and prefer one of the other videos, or a smaller size, please let me know.

THANKS and from the heart



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