The film below documents one project aimed at building reconciliation after inter-ethnic violence following the 2007 election in Kenya. Kenyan Patrick Mureithi made this documentary about the “Healing and Rebuilding our Communities” workshops held in a slum area of Nairobi which experienced some of the worst violence of 2008. This moving film lets us share the emotions of both victims and perpetrators as they struggle to come to terms with what happened and how they can build a more peaceful future. Be sure to click the “Show More” button at YouTube to read the full press release about the film and its remarkable director.
BACKGROUND: As Kenyans get ready to vote tomorrow (Monday, March 4, 2013) in elections for President and Parliament, we all hope that the violence following the 2007 elections will not be repeated. That election featured 2 presidential candidates, each representing a different, but large tribe. When the results were announced, the loser claimed that the voting was rigged. Supporters of each candidate took to the streets in mass demonstrations which turned violent with people wielding machetes and burning down villages. Over 1,000 were killed and half a million rendered homeless.
The horrors of this post election conflict led to many reconciliation initiatives and projects to prevent a recurrence including the Alternatives to Violence Project Kenya (illustrated in this film) – a Quaker initiative of the Friends Peace Teams. Other projects include Uchaguzi to aggregate & map citizen reports of election violations.
For more info, see “Kenyan Patrick Mureithi Hopes New Film Will Deter Violence After Elections” by Paul Nolan, Wall Africa, Feb. 28, 2013. The article also describes the no-cost Faster EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for relieving anxiety. This no-cost technique of tapping on certain pressure points on the body is a boon in a country with few psychiatrists and little access to mental health services.