Letter to my child from Rape
About the Project
Bodies that have been used as battlefields often not only bear the scars of rape, they may also bear children. Often, these mothers and their families face stigma from the very communities that should embrace and support them. In the short documentary, “Letter to My Child from Rape”, director Bernadette Vivuya brings to the screen the powerful words of poet-advocate Désanges Kabuo as she braves dangerous prejudice to claim a future for the child she did not choose to have but now loves fiercely.
Spokesperson for the national movement of survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Désanges Kabuo is a survivor of conflict-related sexual violence, a fighter, a woman standing up. Based on the principle that “together, their voices are stronger than the silence,” with other women survivors, Désanges organizes advocacy and awareness activities to respond and put an end to these rapes and sexual violence, while fighting stigmatization and isolation. Through her poignant testimony, she is resolutely working to bring justice and peace.
Bernadette Vivuya is a visual journalist and filmmaker based in Goma, Eastern DRC. She is an alumnus in “Social justice photography: Decomposing the colonial gaze” led by Yole! Africa. She reports on issues related to human rights, the environment and the exploitation of raw materials, bearing witness to the resilience and transcendence of the people in this conflict-affected region.
This film was produced as part of ART WORKS Projects’ Emerging Lens program, in which young storytellers receive mentorship and financial support to produce a short documentary film or exhibition. Based on the success of “Letter to My Child from Rape,” AWP will expand the Emerging Lens program into filmmaking, diversifying the range of media that can be utilized in the documentary storytelling fellowship.
Letter to My Child from Rape trailer (46 seconds)
For a full list of screenings, refer to the film’s website.
Winner: Best Documentary
World premiere, including a discussion with Bernadette Vivuya and Leslie Thomas
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New York installation of Congo/Women