One of the most striking elements during the making of the film was the difficulty of finding Congolese groups in rural and peri-urban areas who knew about and supported the “conflict minerals” campaign. This suggests a lack of engagement with the people who stand to be most directly affected by campaign outcomes.
Dans son film «We will win peace», le réalisateur Seth Chase part dans les mines du Congo pour montrer à quel point une «bonne» décision prise ailleurs peut avoir un effet dévastateur sur un pays. L’article 1502 de la Dodd-FrankWall Street Reform Act, voté sous la pression de mouvements humanitaires, a davantage déstabilisé la RDC.
We Will Win Peace is a crucial, deep, and unavoidable account of what the 'white saviour' syndrome and 'badvocacy' can spark if the main objective is to respond to one’s own advocacy rather than to the people it is ultimately about.
Documentary screening of We Will Win Peace in London on Sunday September 27th at 15:30PM, Get your tickets here! The film follows two Congolese mineworkers and the way they perceive and deal with the impact of international efforts to address conflict minerals. Followed by a Q&A with experts in the mineral trade.
Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie argues that if we only hear a single story about a country, we risk a critical misunderstanding. Our film takes this one step further, arguing not only do we risk a critical misunderstanding. If we act on this single story, we risk doing harm to the very people we are trying to help.
The documentary, alongside other pieces of research, shows the very real and devastating effect of this simplified rendering of the facts. With de facto international boycotts on minerals from the DRC, and a government ban on artisanal mining, tens of thousands of miners and businesses ended up unable to make a living. This pushed many individuals either towards the illicit mining industry or a rebel group, paradoxically exacerbating the very violence it set out to reduce.
A stark example of the problems with celebrity activism is provided in the new documentary, We Will Win Peace, which tracks the impact of Section 1502 of the US’s Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Championed by celebrities from Ben Affleck to Nicole Richie, this section required companies reporting to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose their use of “conflict minerals” originating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
We Will Win Peace is a cautionary tale on many fronts. To channel the words of Chimamanda Adichie, it convincingly illustrates “the danger of a single story”. It introduces Congolese as musicians, miners, fathers and mothers, not just victims and perpetrators of violence.
Ben Radley, chercheur indépendant et réalisateur d'un documentaire sur les conséquences de la loi Dodd-Frank au Congo, résume ainsi son inquiétude: si la notion de «minerais du conflit» arrange bien ceux qui vivent à des milliers de kilomètres de l'Afrique, elle engendre d'extrêmes difficultés pour les mineurs et leurs familles.Add News Story here
Ben Radley, a signatory of the September letter and an independent researcher who is making a documentary about Dodd-Frank’s impact in Congo, summed up his concerns in an interview: While the concept of conflict minerals is convenient for people far from Africa, it is inducing incredible hardship for the miners and their families.
Over the past years, Seth Chase became the expat film guru of Bujumbura and then launched this latest adventure, We Will Win Peace. The film takes a look at the role of mineral exploitation in fueling violence in the Congo region, and whether Western policies are helping, or hurting. HB media coordinator Hana Obradovic asks Seth about his new film.
What I’m trying to make is a documentary about the stories sold when Western humanitarians seek to change the world, and in particular to ‘help’ Africa and Africans. What kind of stories they are, who gets to control what goes into them, and ultimately, who benefits from them. Because this storytelling needs to change.
A coalition of around 70 Congo and Congolese experts has written an open letter warning that, in the Congo itself, the conflict minerals movement risks "contributing to, rather than alleviating, the very conflicts they set out to address". While not calling to keep transparency and regulation at the lowest level, the letter urges governments, companies, and other stakeholders to carefully rethink and increase their engagement on the issue.
The conflict minerals movement risks descending into “green-washing” of the worst kind, whereby multinationals and others improve their public image, while in the Congo – the country on which this image is founded – no solutions are found, just new problems created.
Hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs as demand for the eastern DRC's minerals dropped. In the absence of viable alternatives, many of them - like the miners and other workers shown in this video - joined or re-joined armed groups as a way to make ends meet.
Dans le documentaire "We Will Win Peace", dont la sortie est prévue en septembre, une équipe de chercheurs, spécialisés sur les Grands Lacs, tente de démontrer "l'impact négatif" de la "loi Obama" sur les minerais de conflit dans le Kivu. Leur démarche : donner la parole aux Congolais.
As long as the camera of the international community remains focused on the relationship between the mineral sector and the conflict, the rest of the picture is lost, and it’s possible to fool oneself into believing in the centrality of the conflict minerals agenda to resolving the conflict and lowering levels of violence.