Digital stories are powerful narratives combining images with first hand accounts of people most affected by the topic at hand, in this case the ongoing impact of landmines in post-conflict Mozambique. Since many of the most affected areas are away from urban centres, these views and voices are sometimes forgotten. During four participatory workshops survivors, those who have lost family members to landmines, and communities affected by agricultural loss told their stories of living with the affects of landmines. The resulting 28 stories were produced as photo digital stories on DVD, and recast as audio testimonials for radio stations, and distributed to 30 community stations across the country.
Link to other CMFD work
CMFD did four workshops in which participants from the community recorded and produced a series of personal narratives that were distributed widely to demonstrate the ongoing human impact of landmines. Key points were as follows.
- 4 participatory workshops were held in various locations in landmine/ UXO affected areas.
- The participatory process includes the use of oral testimony and images, in a process known as digital story making. This methodology helps the community members, who may or may not be literate, to tell their stories of how landmines have affected them in their own words. Stories will be recorded in five local languages.
- addition to the oral testimonies, the workshops resulted in digital stories, which combine audio and images, such as drawings or photos. These can be screened publicly, or used for training and advocacy purposes.
- We included 1 or 2 journalists, who did reports and spots, so that there is a mix of media on the CD.
- The audio is being distributed to community radio stations across the country, accompanied by a guide for presenters and trainers to help them use the oral testimonies for discussion and awareness-raising, and provide a starting point for developing their own stories.
- The digital stories are also available for advocacy and training purposes.
This approach is ideal, as it allows those who have been affected to offer a “warning” to others. Because people are listening to people who are very much like them, they can learn from others’ experiences. It is also a way to remind people, like government or NGOs who need to care for landmine survivors, about the human voices of those affected.
People share their stories generally first. They then be use images to develop their story. This includes drawing images, or using a digital camera that CMFD has on hand. For example, a person who lost family to a landmine may opt to take an image of an item that used to belong to that person. Someone may choose to photograph crops, to talk about the land being lost to landmines. Another may choose to draw a memory from the past. This process helps people to tell different aspects of their stories. The images assist with the storytelling.
With CMFD equipment, participants recorded their stories, as they see fit, in their own words. Part of this process was to ensure that the stories reflect different aspects of landmines, for example:
- living with a disability;
- loss of agricultural land and livelihood
- growing up without a father because of landmines
- positive impacts of mine clearance operations
This process also encouraged all of the participants to be mutually supportive, as these stories where sometimes painful. An assistant helped participants place the images to their voices, which was viewed by participants on the last day of the workshop. This was a very empowering experience for people. CMFD will then copy and separate the audio from the audio/ visual, edit the voice for sound quality, and produce the audio for radio stations to broadcast on air. The visual stories will be tidied up and editing tightened after the workshop, to ensure quality.
The key focus of the workshops were personal narratives. As much as possible, we invited representatives from nearby radio stations to participate, to develop short spots and reports related to landmines. The various components of the project were packaged for distribution.
Landmine digital stories - Brief Report
18 May, 2010
As a follow-up to this activity to Vila Pisa Bem, CMFD worked with communities in Mozambique to produce participatory programming on speaking out on landmines. The objective of this strategy is to give a casino roulette en ligne gratuit voice to those most affected by landmines, as a strategy to continue raising awareness about landmines as a challenge in Mozambique. Since many of the most affected areas are away from urban centres, these views and voices are sometimes forgotten.
The following workshops have been completed.
- Chibuto - 7 stories and one radio report were recorded in Portuguese and Shangaan, covering issues such as children and landmines, gender-based violence and landmines, military trauma, impact of loss of family. Radio journalists were present from Radio Mozambique in Xai-Xai.
- Chicualacuala – 5 stories were recorded in Portuguese and Shangaan, and journalists’ interviews, covering experiences of landmine survivors (disability), impact on small business (losing things like shops) and personal livelihoods (losing possessions). A radio journalist from Radio Chicualacuala was also present.
- Machipanda – 9 participants attended the workshop, including one deminer, speaking mostly Shona, plus 2 journalists from community stations (Radio Gesom and Radio Manica).
- Govuro - 15 participants attended the workshop speaking Ndau, Xitsua and Portuguese, plus two journalists from Radio Save. We have been working in close collaboration with the Associação dos Jovens e Amigos de Govuro (AJOAGO), who run Radio Save, and we are using their offices for the workshop.
Comments from participants at the workshops
‘I liked the part where I told my stories, it made me think that we keep the stories for us but the country needs to hear it.’
‘I felt good [telling my story] because I let out something I had to say about mines and its dangers; I also had the opportunity to ask the government through the appeal.’
‘It was scary [to tell my story] because I had to remember the difficult times that I went through in my life.’
‘I feel an added responsibility now, because my story will contribute in supporting other communities with the same struggles.’
‘I liked to hear the other participants, who are handicapped, telling their stories it was important for me.’
‘I learnt that from one question or two you may come to know and understand a whole new story, I also learnt to take photography.’
‘I learnt new words like workshop, I didn’t even know what it means; I also learnt that there are different kinds of anti-personnel mines.’
Links with Vila Pisa Bem
At each workshop we have made links with Vila Pisa Bem, either providing copies to any stations that did not receive, or encouraging stations to re-air once they receive the second set of programming.
Organising the workshops in remote rural areas has been a challenge. For example, Machipanda was completely disconnected from the country’s telecommunications system until one week before the workshop began, due to a local systems failure. Chicualacuala has electricity only at night, despite assurances that power was available form 10am to 2pm everyday, meaning that working on the laptop was limited. As well, placing calls to remote areas has proved somewhat problematic, as the telephone systems have been erratic. This has resulted in some delays, and the need to be a bit creative in our approach.
On the other hand, local cooperation has been fantastic. In each location, we have worked closely with local organisations and local government officials to identify participants and run the workshops. There has been a lot of enthusiasm from these people, as well as radio stations, and their assistance has gone a long way in the smooth running of the project. We believe that this indicates that at the local level, there is a clear recognition of the need to present such opportunities to continue to raise awareness about landmines.