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The Power of Films for Human Rights

Visual arts have transformed into a powerful medium in a world where people only believe in what they see. Images can report truths untold and can open people’s eyes.

Movies can reach the public all over the world. Can make us smile, cry or get angry. We can use it to tell a story and to engage the audience. It’s the best form to show some difficult realities and to serve as evidence of human rights violations.

Many websites and film festivals are dedicated to share human rights documentaries and believe that image can empower public with knowledge and encourage them to fight for justice. Witness is a website which collects human rights films. It started in 1988 and defends that image can transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools.

Human Rights film festivals are spreading all over the world and Papua New Guinea is not an exception. Papua New Guinea Human Rights Film Festival happens in the end of the year in Port Moresby, Buka and Goroka. It also promotes discussions about: environment, violence against women, sexual health and torture.

So, what can you do? You don’t need to be a famous director to make a movie. Making your own video with the new technologies is easy and cheap. Cellphone, hand cameras, Youtube, Vimeo, even Facebook and Twitter are just some of the medias that can help you capture and share images. Witness website also developed materials to teach human right defenders to create videos.

Through image, films touches crowds. This art can be an important tool to educate and inform people. So, pick your cellphone and denounce human rights violations in your community.


By Willie Doaemo


References:

http://www.hrff.org.pg/

http://www.witness.org/

http://global-ejournal.org/2009/11/

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