"Hubby attacks wife with farming tools."
"Athlete's killer brother arrested."
"Woman brothel owner faces murder charge."
"Ugandan maid jailed." Jolly Tumihirwe (22) was caught on camera beating, kicking an 18-month old toddler.
Roughly a week after 16 Days of activism we continue to see headlines like this, a reflection that it's not over. 16 Days of Activism may be over but we continue to read reports of violations of human rights the world over and efforts must continue in whatever space or capacity to bring an end to these horrendous acts of violence that continue to plague our societies.
As FLAME we continue to explore how art can be used to bring social change, to work with artists who can add their voice against any form of violence bearing in mind that these are people coming from communities where they also may experience or encounter different forms of violence.
This year we had 17 events for the 16 Days of activism with a gender forum, theatre, ten musical shows, 4 film screenings and a poetry slam.
All events were well attended with insightful discussions held especially after the film screenings.
Among the films was 'Whistleblower' courtesy of the Embassy of Canada - The Whistleblower is a 2010 thriller film directed by Larysa Kondracki and starring Rachel Weisz. Kondracki and Eilis Kirwan wrote the screenplay, which was inspired by the story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska police officer who was recruited as a United Nations peacekeeper for DynCorp International in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1999. While there, she discovered a sex trafficking ring serving (and facilitated by) DynCorp employees, with the UN SFOR turning a blind eye. Bolkovac was fired and forced out of the country after attempting to shut down the ring. She took the story to BBC News in England and won a wrongful-dismissal lawsuit against DynCorp. A griping and complicated story, not the kind of story we hear often in this part of the world.
Other films shown include Ninah's Dowry courtesy of Women Film Makers of Zimbabwe, What's Love Got To do With It and Asylum courtesy of Women's University Gender & Development Studies Department.
This year saw the involvement of young women who utilised the Sistaz Open Mic platform to recite poetry and sing against gender violence. Sistaz Open Mic, a daytime performance platform allows the involvement from all genres of art and from all ages and has been going strong in the past seven years. The Sistaz Open Mic event was supported by One Billion Rising Revolution, Girls Legacy and Institute of Young Women's Development(IYWD).
|Zimbabwe College of Music all-Female band at Sistaz Open Mic|
|Canadian Ambassador, Lisa Stadelbauer giving her speech|
She profoundly quoted the United Nations, that the fundamental proposition in the Universal Declaration celebrates "that each one of us, everywhere, at all times is entitled to the full range of human rights, that human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values."
The night was left to rising blues and neo-soul artist Raven, Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana and Hope Masike to speak in song. We take this time to thank all the artists who came through to all the events and participated or supported in one way or another.
We also would like to thank our partners: Embassy of Canada, Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust, One Billion Rising, Women Film Makers of Zimbabwe, Women Arts Festival(WAFEST), Girls Legacy, Institute of Young Women Development(IYWD) and WUA Gender Development Studies department for their support and making all the 16 Days events happen at the Book Café.