June 25, 2010

smallpower's 2010 reel


We've put together a new reel for 2010, featuring mostly the work we've done over the past three years in Kinshasa, but including some older work from the past decade as well.

You can watch it now on Vimeo, and continue reading this post to see what's in the reel.

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May 18, 2010

We've Been Shortlisted for the One World Media Awards


For the second year in a row, Rien que la Vérité has been shortlisted for a One World Media Award in the Special Award category. It's definitely an honor to be recognized alongside so many interesting and high quality projects from around the world. If anyone's in London and has an evening free on the 22nd of June, the award ceremony should be a who's who of British media.

If I'm not mistaken, most, if not all, of the other entries are in English. It's doubly humbling to realize that Rien que la Véirité's story and talented actors can reach an english-speaking audience in spite of the language barrier. Thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make this show a reality.

On a related note, I believe that the catalog for this year's awards will feature photos from our project.

March 18, 2010

Sexual Violence in the DRC: Why Celebrities Don't Help the Cause


The gap between perception and reality on the issue of sexual violence against women here in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is wider than on almost any other topic. Clearly, sexual violence in the Congo is the new "Ethiopia" or the new "Sudan" as the issue has captured the imagination of celebrities, politicians and, increasingly, larger segments of the politically literate populations in Europe and the United States.

For many in the developed world, famine and poverty are too abstract to resonate widely. Rape is different. Women from all backgrounds and socio-economic levels can immediately identify with this issue as it is both a fear and reality for women and girls in every community. Now, increasingly, corporations, politicians and celebrities are recognizing that valuable exposure can be had by connecting themselves with "doing something to help the women of the Congo."

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March 15, 2010

Week 133


Kinshasa's heat wave finally broke this week, and we got three generous rainstorms. Construction on Blvd. 30 Juin seems to have accelerated. They may be trying to finish it in time for the upcoming 50-year anniversary of independence from Belgium. The less momentous 4-year anniversary of my (Tomas's) first arrival in Kinshasa will come just a few days earlier.

The past has been a lot on our mind this week, as we've been organizing every aspect of smallpower's history into a coherent narrative. Nicole and I burned DVDs of almost everything we've made in the last 4 years. In the end it took up more than 50 discs. I wrote a report about our efforts at measurement & evaluation. Ben, Lara, and Mette spent time getting our records in order.

Eric continued his work with the JAMA Video crew, putting them through more exercises and helping them pitch for work. Joys took Eric to his neighborhood in Bandal to meet the Chinese who live and work there.

Last night, we went to a parcel in Limite to pay our respects to a cast member whose 6-month old son died of a lung infection this week. When we returned home, the crew stayed up past midnight filming music videos for Trésor (he plays Dady Tola, Katya's boyfriend, in Rien que la Vérité) and José (our chroniqueur de musique.) This morning a parade of young women marched down our street, celebrating the anniversary of their school.

March 12, 2010

Building up Blvd 30 Juin


It's impossible to not have mixed emotions about the current construction that is transforming Blvd 30 Juin from a functioning, 4-lane road into an 8-lane monster of a highway. And thanks to an increased frequency of power outages and because our 5th floor balcony looks out onto the now treeless road, we've had time and a view to observe firsthand how the construction is fundamentally changing the way that Kinois will have to get around.

Blvd 30 Juin, today

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Gombe, Kinshasa, DRC
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