July: Congo's Women

8 Jul

This month our film series, "The Reel Congo" will feature stories about women affected by the war and instability in Congo.  We will examine the ways that different filmmakers address a similar subject and ask: what are they trying to convey about the nature of the conflict in DR Congo, in general, and its impact on women specifically?  After the film, we will provide information to help you put these films into context and hear what experts and people with experience on the ground have to say about these stories and others like them.  We are intimately invested in providing good services to women in Congo and seeing their rights protected and can share some stories of our own on the ground.  Both Jeff and I volunteered for two months in 2009 at HEAL Africa, a facility that provides services to women who have been victims of sexual violence and require medical attention from that trauma.  Our nonprofit, the CAMP Fund,  supports HEAL Africa, and you can learn more about why we appreciate their work by watching  Lumo,  the first film in our series, which takes place in their medical facility.

To get a good sense of this month's screening, click on the film titles below and browse the synopses, trailers, and reviews. 

I can't emphasize enough how excited we are to host this community theater event.  The forum is excellent for conversing with folks who are curious to learn about Congo in a supportive environment.  I have been reaching out to the African and especially the Congolese communities to extend invitations to our series.   We believe that they are a rich local resource for perspectives and experience and we want them to be included in these conversations about the state of affairs of their country and continent.  Every time I sit down and have a conversation with a Congolese about his or her experience,  at the end I stand up enriched and given good food for thought.   I'd like for Pittsburghers to benefit from the wealth of knowledge right here in our midst.  Please join us and bring friends!


All showings will take place on Sundays at the Paramount Film Exchange Building   in Uptown where Blvd of the Allies and Miltenberger meet (1727 Blvd of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15219).  Doors will open at 6 PM and films will begin at 6:30 P.M.  Suggested donation for admission is $5.  Refreshments will be available for purchase, including concession candy, freshly-popped popcorn, wine, beer, water, and soda.  All proceeds benefit the Congolese Advocacy Memorial Project.


Photographs above by Finbarr O'Reilly.  See more of his work by clicking on his name or by visiting part of his collection here: Portraits from the Congo


Thanks to Rick Shweikert and PFEX for lending us this beautiful space for community theater.

Thanks to Pittsburgh Human Rights Network for partnering with us and helping to bring human rights challenges in Congo to the public's attention.

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