Day 7: July 16, 2007

Yuen-Lin’s Day 7 journal

Pausing for a moment to put oneself in the shoes of another makes a big difference. It’s easy to see or hear something without reaching that point where you know how it feels. We all have empathy, and it allows us to come close to how another feels without being in the exact same situation ourselves. Not identical, to be sure, but close enough to relate. As you watch the i-ACT videos, try putting yourself in the shoes of the people we meet. Hopefully through their words and expressions, with your imagination and intuition filling in the rest, you can feel some aspects of the lives of Darfuri refugees. The food, the tents, the sanitation, the threat of violence, the idleness, the separation from loved ones, the abandonment of a life as full as any of our’s, the desire to return the moment there is peace. Hopefully you can, painful as it may be, for a moment imagine how it’s like to be there during the atrocities. When your village was bombed from the air, then attacked from the ground by men in vehicles and horseback, when people near and dear were killed as they ran, when all your possessions were destroyed or stolen. Just as we have not turned a blind eye to the genocide in Darfur, we should not shy away from these feelings.

I love the portraits we took of people. Frozen in a still frame, with no ambient noise or movement, one gets to look closely at the face of a person. Into a person’s eyes. In that instant all pretense falls away and one realizes that if even a single one of these people was hurt, or killed, or separated from family, or forced to abandon home, that itself is a price too high to pay.

2 replies on “Yuen-Lin’s Day 7 journal”

Hi, Yuen-Lin!

You’ve done a tremendous job in editing the video footage and enhancing their impact with the addition of freeze-framed photos of some of those you’ve met. Their stories and faces do help bridge the gap between our comfort zone and their misery, but it’s still too horrific for me to fully envision their plight happening in our homeland. We must rely on your media works to bring their desperation into clearer focus, and keep us all actively working for an end to this genocide. Thank you for your selfless efforts. Take care.



Dear Lisa:

Thank you, but all credit for the video editing goes to Gabriel. I do some of the camera work when we’re out in the camps, but he is the one who sits five-six hours straight when we return: downloading the video, watching all the clips, selecting what to use, thinking of how to piece together a good story, actually putting the pieces together, doing audio work. It’s a very painstaking task, but I think the results are well worth it!

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