Why telling stories matters

Michael Christopher Brown: "at a trial for over a dozen fardc soldiers, accused of raping women from 6-75 years of age. here a victim explains to a judge what happened, while the accused sit in the background. been filming alot recently and spent all today doing video. but somehow the one iphone pic i took means more to me than all the hours of moving pictures"
Michael Christopher Brown: “at a trial for over a dozen fardc soldiers, accused of raping women from 6-75 years of age. here a victim explains to a judge what happened, while the accused sit in the background. been filming alot recently and spent all today doing video. but somehow the one iphone pic i took means more to me than all the hours of moving pictures”

Sometimes I find an image or a moment so compelling I just can’t stop myself–I have to talk. That’s the power of story. Today, my W2M colleague Holly Frew, who left Write2Market a year ago for exactly the right reason of taking a public relations appointment at World Vision to feed starving children, shared an image from Africa where she is changing lives. The image is by videographer and story teller Michael Christopher Brown, her contact, and in it, we see a rape victim giving testimony in front of the people who did it, members of the Congolese army, FARDC.

This hit me in my gut. ┬áPride. Power. Fear. Hope. It’s all there. Look at the sad man to the left who is re-evaluating his life . . . see how one person telling the truth is creating change (behind her)–uncomfortable, honest, and unavoidable.

Fast forward from Africa to here in Atlanta or Austin: Who are your accusers? Who are you afraid to stand before? What is the story you fear no one understands?

It’s always time to tell our stories.

This brave woman in her legal cloak of partial anonymity, and this brave journalist Michael, and this brave PR person Holly, are all part of the chain of custody to deliver a new, better reality by saying what is. We can all be part of that chain of custody for our reality.

This is the change that can happen in the Congo–and the change that can happen in our own context. Speak out, grab a cloak if you must, but be the real change the world needs. Your truth, bravely told, just like this woman’s truth, is the foundation of a better future.

 

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