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The context for Peace Commandos is the on-going armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In what is often referred to as Africa’s first world war, nearly four million have died in the last decade. This constitutes the single greatest loss of life due to war since World War Two; however it is currently one of the most underreported humanitarian crises in the world.
Peace Commandos is a documentary film featuring the work of Search for Common Ground (SFCG), an innovative organization working to transform conflict in Congolese society through interactive street theatre and Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a humanitarian mine action organization working to collect and destroy weapons stores in the country. The film will profile the work of SFCG and MAG exploring the thesis that both the destruction of the physical tools of violence (Small Arms Light Weapons – SALW) as well as a more subtle disarmament of the mind must take place in order for lasting peace to emerge in a society fractured by decades of conflict. The film will intercut these two narrative strands amidst a broader societal context demonstrating the effects of armed conflict on civilians in a society governed by the rule of the gun rather than the rule of law.
Objectives for this project include: raising awareness in the U.S. and globally regarding the ongoing conflict in DRC; enhancing public awareness of the complexities of managing ordnance, ammunition, small arms and light weapons Peace Commandoss in uncertain, developing nation environments; documenting the use of local interactive street theatre as a tool for resolving violent conflict; expanding the public’s knowledge about the intersection of loosely-held weapons and landmine Peace Commandoss in civilian environments; and demonstrating a positive model for communities in many parts of the world to consider and emulate for peace-building.
*This project is funded in part with the support of the US Department of State’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PMWRA).