Friday, January 14, 2011

Using Cameras to Fight Human Rights Abuses

In 1988, musician and activist Peter Gabriel traveled the world with Amnesty International's "Human Rights Now!" tour. He brought a big, bulky camcorder with him and used it to interview victims of human rights abuses. Gabriel realized that capturing those stories made it harder for them to be forgotten, and that's what spurred him to found WITNESS, a Brooklyn-based human rights organization.

"The aim is always to turn a personal story of abuse into a powerful tool for justice," says Executive Director Yvette Alberdingk Thijm, who sat down with to discuss how WITNESS uses the power of video to fight human rights abuses around the world.


  1. Cameras... CAMERAS!? But what about privacy! Respect the right of people who are being oppressed to not have their suffering shown to people who are just tryign to watch TV and escape the horrible conditions of their oppressed lives. Why should I care about kids starving in Africa when I had a hard day (there was a long line at the McDonald's drive-thru)?

  2. But what about privacy!

    Until you understand the difference between shoving someone into an oncoming bus, and shoving someone out of the way of an oncoming bus, it's pointless discussing this with you.

  3. Until you realize that if I shove someone out of the way of a bus, it's no more heroic than if a police officer does it... oh never mind.


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