By Nash Wills, Co-Editor
This Friday from 11am to 1pm, #StandWithCongo will be presenting a special screening of the award-winning documentary When Elephants Fight in Yount 100. The event is being organized and put on by Peter Mayangi, who you’ve probably seen promoting this event around campus over the past few weeks. If Peter’s dedication has been any signal of how good this documentary is going to be, then you don’t want to miss out.
The documentary “grew out of the Congolese demand for transparency, and a respect for the strength of student movements.” #StandWithCongo’s 2016 goal is for Thunderbird to be one of fifty campuses throughout the world to show the film. From the documentary’s promo, the film “spotlights how the complicity of multinational corporations and corrupt politicians threatens human rights globally and perpetuates the deadliest conflict since World War II in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Narrated and Executive Produced by actor and activist Robin Wright, this film guides the viewer through a history of exploitation of central Africa’s resources and the struggle for peace and dignity. The film explores what Joseph Conrad called the Heart of Darkness, illustrating the brutality of foreign and domestic spoilers in their quests for power and wealth amidst regional instability sparked by colonialism and entrenched since the Rwandan Genocide.
When Elephants Fight shares an unprecedented glimpse into the central African minerals trade worth trillions in USD. Viewers witness the illicit trafficking of minerals that feeds the billion-dollar mining concession deals bankrupting the Congolese state and undercutting the people of desperately needed revenue for reforms in security, education, and health. Recent revelations from the Panama Papers demonstrate that shady business benefitting corporate and political elite is not limited to Congo.
Congo has lost 5.4 million people as a result of conflict since the late 1990s. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of unspeakable atrocities including mass killings and brutal sexual violence. When Elephants Fight highlights Congolese perseverance in the face of inhumanity by peace leaders and everyday individuals frustrated with the unstable status quo while struggling to provide for their families.
When Elephants Fight holds all accountable in our often unwitting role in the exploitation of those involved in sourcing and manufacturing. Further, it inspires action in the global human rights movement for transparency in the trade of raw materials.”