La Benevolencija’s Documentary on Prince Louis Rwagasore

In 2012 Burundi celebrates its 50 years of independence. Prince Louis Rwagasore, son of King Mwambutsa IV Bangiricenge, was an emblematic figure of the anti colonial struggle and  is directly linked to this independence. Radio La Benevolencija Burundi has finalized its documentary about Prince Louis Rwagasore, which was screened in Bujumbura as part of the official celebration activities July 2012. For more background information please visit La Benevolencija’s website dedicated to Prince Louis Rwagasore.

We are proud to announce that this documentary will be screened within the framework of the Afrika Filmfestival in Brussels, Belgium  on October 5th 2012. For updated information please visit us on Facebook Rwagasore.

website Afrika Filmfestival

Inyanduruko – ‘the origins’

Compared to the situation in the other two countries La Benevolencija is working in, the media in Burundi are vibrant and open. La Benevolencija’s previous work in Burundi, especially around the elections in 2010, has shown the importance of opening complicated topics for public debates. In the coming years La Benevolencija will continue with it. Through these debates, the topics will be kept on the media agenda, during an important part of the new legislature.

This new series of Inyanduruko – the origins – will take listeners throughout the historic and more recent evolution, where ethnical privileges have dominated government policy, leading up to acts of extreme violence against members from another ethnic group. Simple historical analyses show the similarities between the actual and previous decision making powers.

This programme enables the development and explanation of the psychological academic theory of how group (ethnic) conflicts evolved in Burundi. The underlying goal is to empower the population of Burundi to develop attitudes of resistance towards political and ethnical manipulation by (bad) leaders, by giving them a “mind-map”. The programme will:

• provide concrete historical examples from Burundi as well as from other countries on the origins and prevention of genocide (ethnic group conflicts)

• inspire listeners to adopt strategies that prevent these acts of violence and that (might) engender reconciliation through appropriate justice processes and trauma healing

• reinforce already existent positive behaviours that counteract harm doing

The programme will follow a classic sequence of how members of groups are incited to violence. First, a climate of insecurity and economic hardship is exacerbated. People seek assistance by rallying around their own communities, and their group leaders. Their leaders use imaginary threats and create circumstances that reinforce existing historical fears. This happens in a political environment lacking open dialogue. That in turn leads up to extreme, non-diplomatic statements used by all sides of the political spectrum (authorities, civil society, and media). This is accompanied by a tendency for manipulation through the spreading and circulation of rumours that foster prejudices against certain groups.

In La Benevolencija’s “continuum of violence”, actors of conflicts change as a result of their actions. So, if mass violence starts with serious incidents, it can be expected to increase into a cycle of ever increasing atrocities. Recent examples in the Great Lakes region have illustrated this phenomenon. To halt such a development, it seems imperative to counteract the effects of fear mongering and scapegoating on the mind of simple citizens.