Words can tell a story, pictures can give us images, and videos have a way of combining both, making it easier for an emotional connection to form with what is going on. During the violent events unleashed by the surprising results of the Kenyan election, media shut down and many had to depend on the internet for their information needs, others took it into their hands to create their media, bearing witness to these events, video camera in hand.
In Facebook, user Duncan Musicha posted 8 short videos recorded on what seems to be a cellphone camera to the group “Peace on Kenya” . In the videos, people can be seen running from police, gunshots can be heard and still bodies lay on the ground.
The following clip, Refugees in our own country from NTVKenya shows the refugees who have arrived at both the Eldoret police station, and Jamuhuri park in Nairobi: mostly are women and children who are fleeing the ethnic violence fueled by the election´s results, not knowing when they´ll be able to return to their looted and sometimes burnt down villages.
Aljazeera English has an 12 minute long update on the situation between opposing candidates Mwai Kibaki from PNU and Raila Odinga from ODM, and their agreement to meet to discuss the situation, also providing background information on Kenyan political history.
Videos are also providing people with a way to report violence and other incidents. In Ushahidi.com, a report of house burning in Kapsoya near Eldoret is accompanied with a video interview, uploaded on youtube by afromusing, whose accounts of the events pre and post election are quite thorough and terribly moving.
This clip shows Charity Ngilu asking the officer in charge why the rally is not allowed to continue. It is a bit shaky and ends mid sentence but at least it shows some sort of dialogue.
Voices of Africa [en] showcases the work of several citizen journalists who have also used cellphones cameras to record both pictures and video interviews, providing a wider perspective of the recent events. On their site you can view an ODM leader requesting peaceful action, no looting and no violence during marches, mediation teams taking shape and the slow return to normality, at least in Nairobi, where people returned to the streets and stores reopened.
Eyes on Kenya picks three different videos to showcase women´s situation in conflict: First, the clip you´ll see here, of Dekha Ibrahim Abdi, 2007 Alternative Nobel Peace Prize winner and her story on how she´s brought together different tribes to agree on peace instead of fighting for the preciously few water resources, then, the two part Al-Jazeera video report of at least 255 cases of assaults to women, related to the election campaign, with 0 charges to the accused, showing that in the areas of women´s rights, there´s still a long path ahead.
For more information on the events in Kenya, please feel free to visit the Global Voices special coverage page which is gathering as much information from the area as possible, with links to local blogs who are reporting the events.
Picture by MentalAcrobatics used according to Creative Commons License.