Remembering Rwanda

Mediastorm hosts many stories that cut right into the heart of an individual. The stories are powerfully told, both from a narrative point of view but also from the visuals. The individuals who tell these tragic stories, who have survived many of life’s challenges, are framed in a dignified way – their beauty still shining through the sorrow that scars their skin. One would want to enjoy visiting the site but the power of the stories leave a visitor frozen wondering about the world we leave in.

Intended Consequences, featuring the Rwanda genocide, is one such story. The stories of women who were raped repeatedly; forced to drink blood; left for dead in the middle of other dead bodies in church, in the riverbed and in other places; infected with HIV virus and some surviving to face uncertain life is matched with the dark background setting of the website.  It draws attention to the plight of these Rwandese, to take note of the fact that while the genocide happened the world stood by, and in the word of one of the narrators now the world should “come to support us as we deal with the legacy of genocide”.  The stories are moving and there are links to enable one respond to this story.

The setting of the website and of the story demands a response from the viewer.  The pictorial is a mixture of still and motion pictures blending beautifully. The inclusion of other stories on the right side of the page allows the viewer to move on to a different story if one cannot bear the grimness of the story one is viewing. But there is also a provision for involvement. On the left side of the page there is provision to comment, to share the story with others or to post it on one’s own website or blog by embedding it in the text. A click on a link provides one with instructions on how to get involved, for example, by reporting abuses to Amnesty International. But it also has provision for downloading the transcript besides only listening to the audio and viewing the visuals.

At the top bar the viewer can click on the contributor’s link that leads to the bios of the authors. But it also has provision for people to submit any stories that they might have to the sight. I would have loved it to have a link to the individual victims so that one can read their profiles too – how they coped after and where they are now.

This story is both multimedia i.e. there is the transcript that can be printed, there are visuals and also audio; but it is also interactive. You can embed it; you can send it to others and also asks the viewer to do something in response to this story.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mindy McAdams
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 00:03:17

    You are correct, this is a very moving testimony about a terrible time and terrible actions. It’s nice that you provided a map in your blog post — on the MediaStorm site, I did not find a map of Rwanda.

    The ability to easily share this kind of reporting is very valuable, I think.

    Reply

  2. Jo Schome
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 21:35:24

    There is a map of Rwanda in the video.

    Reply

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