Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • I would like to start

  • with the story of Mary,

  • a woman from an African village.

  • Her first memories

  • are of her family fleeing violent riots

  • orchestrated by the ruling political party.

  • Her brother was murdered by the state-sponsored militia,

  • and she was raped more than once

  • just because she belonged to the wrong party.

  • One morning, a month before the election,

  • Mary's village was called to another intimidation meeting.

  • In this meeting, there is a man standing in front of them,

  • telling them, "We know who you are,

  • we know who you will vote for,

  • and if you're not going to drop the right paper,

  • we're going to take revenge."

  • But for Mary, this meeting is different.

  • She feels different.

  • This time, she's waiting for this meeting,

  • because this time, she's carrying a small hidden camera in her dress,

  • a camera that nobody else can see.

  • Nobody is allowed to film in these meetings.

  • You risk your life if you do.

  • Mary knows that, but she also knows that the only way to stop them

  • and to protect herself and her community

  • is to expose their intimidation,

  • to make sure they understand somebody is following them,

  • to break the impunity they feel.

  • Mary and her friends were filming for months, undercover,

  • the intimidation of the ruling political party.

  • (Video) ["Filmed with hidden cameras"]

  • Man: We are now going to speak about the upcoming elections.

  • Nothing can stop us from doing what we want.

  • If we hear you are with [The Opposition]

  • we will not forgive you.

  • ["Militia intimidation rally"]

  • [The Party] can torture you at any time.

  • The youth can beat you.

  • ["Disruption of political meeting"]

  • For those who lie, saying they are back with [The Party],

  • your time is running out.

  • ["Party youth militia"]

  • Some have died because they rebelled.

  • Some have lost their homes.

  • If you don't work together with [The Party],

  • you will lead a very bad life.

  • Oren Yakobovich: These images were broadcast all over the world,

  • but more importantly,

  • they have been broadcast back to the community.

  • The perpetrators saw them too.

  • They understood somebody is following them.

  • They got scared. Impunity was broken.

  • Mary and her friends forced the ruling political party

  • not to use violence during the election,

  • and saved hundreds of lives.

  • Mary is just one of hundreds of people

  • that my organization had helped to document human rights violations

  • using cameras.

  • My background should have led me to a different direction.

  • I was born in Israel to a right-wing family,

  • and as long as I remember myself,

  • I wanted to join the Israeli army to serve my country

  • and prove what I believed was our right for the whole land.

  • I joined the Israeli army just after the first intifada,

  • the first Palestinian uprising,

  • and I served in one of the hard-minded,

  • toughest, aggressive infantry units,

  • and I got the biggest gun in my platoon.

  • Quite fast, I became an officer

  • and got soldiers under my command,

  • and as time passed, I started serving in the West Bank,

  • and I saw these images.

  • I didn't like what I saw.

  • It took me a while,

  • but eventually I refused to serve in the West Bank

  • and had to spend time in jail.

  • It was a bit

  • (Applause) —

  • It was not that bad, I have to say.

  • It was a bit like being in a hotel, but with very shitty food.

  • (Laughter)

  • In jail, I kept thinking that I need people to know.

  • I need people to understand

  • what the reality in the West Bank looks like.

  • I need them to hear what I heard,

  • I need them to see what I saw,

  • but I also understood, we need the Palestinians themselves,

  • the people that are suffering,

  • to be able to tell their own stories,

  • not journalists or filmmakers that are coming outside of the situation.

  • I joined a human rights organization,

  • an Israeli human rights organization called B'Tselem.

  • Together, we analyzed the West Bank

  • and picked 100 families that are living in the most risky places:

  • close to checkpoints, near army bases,

  • side by side with settlers.

  • We gave them cameras and training.

  • Quite fast, we started getting very disturbing images

  • about how the settlers and the soldiers are abusing them.

  • I would like to share with you two clips from this project.

  • Both of them were broadcast in Israel, and it created a massive debate.

  • And I have to warn you,

  • some of you might find them quite explicit.

  • The masked men you will see in the first clips

  • are Jewish settlers.

  • Minutes before the camera was turned on,

  • they approached a Palestinian family

  • that was working their land

  • and told them that they have to leave the land,

  • because this land belongs to the Jewish settlers.

  • The Palestinians refused.

  • Let's see what happened.

  • The masked men that are approaching are Jewish settlers.

  • They are approaching the Palestinian family.

  • This is a demonstration in the West Bank.

  • The guy in green is Palestinian.

  • He will be arrested in a second.

  • Here you see him blindfolded and handcuffed.

  • In a few seconds, he regrets he came to this demonstration.

  • He's been shot in the foot with a rubber bullet.

  • He is okay.

  • Not all the settlers and the soldiers are acting this way.

  • We're talking about a tiny minority, but they have to be brought to justice.

  • These clips, and others like them,

  • forced the army and the police to start investigations.

  • They've been shown in Israel, of course,

  • and the Israeli public was exposed to them also.

  • This project redefined the struggle for human rights

  • in the occupied territories,

  • and we managed to reduce the number of violent attacks in the West Bank.

  • The success of this project got me thinking

  • how I can take the same methodology to other places in the world.

  • Now, we tend to believe that today,

  • with all of the technology,

  • the smartphones and the Internet,

  • we are able to see and understand most of what's happening in the world,

  • and people are able to tell their story

  • but it's only partly true.

  • Still today, with all the technology we have,

  • less than half of the world's population

  • has access to the Internet,

  • and more than three billion people

  • I'm repeating the number

  • three billion people are consuming news that is censored by those in power.

  • More or less around the same time,

  • I'm approached by a great guy named Uri Fruchtmann.

  • He's a filmmaker and an activist.

  • We understood we were thinking along the same lines,

  • and we decided to establish Videre, our organization, together.

  • While building the organization in London,

  • we've been traveling undercover to places

  • where a community was suffering from abuses,

  • where mass atrocities were happening,

  • and there was a lack of reporting.

  • We tried to understand how we can help.

  • There were four things that I learned.

  • The first thing is that we have to engage

  • with communities that are living in rural areas,

  • where violations are happening far from the public eye.

  • We need to partner with them,

  • and we need to understand which images are not making it out there

  • and help them to document them.

  • The second thing I learned

  • is that we have to enable them to film in a safe way.

  • Security has to be the priority.

  • Where I used to work before, in the West Bank,

  • one can take a camera out,

  • most likely not going to get shot,

  • but in places we wanted to work,

  • just try to pull a phone out, and you're deadliterally dead.

  • This is why we decided

  • to take the operation undercover

  • when necessary,

  • and use mostly hidden cameras.

  • Unfortunately, I can't show you the hidden cameras we're using today

  • for obvious reasons

  • but these are cameras we used before.

  • You can buy them off the shelf.

  • Today, we're building a custom-made hidden camera,

  • like the one that Mary was wearing

  • in her dress to film the intimidation meeting

  • of the ruling political party.

  • It's a camera that nobody can see,

  • that blends into the environment,

  • into the surroundings.

  • Now, filming securities go beyond using hidden cameras.

  • Being secure starts way before the activist is turning the camera on.

  • To keep our partners safe,

  • we work to understand the risk of every location

  • and of every shot before it's happened,

  • building a backup plan if something goes wrong,

  • and making sure we have everything in place

  • before our operations start.

  • The third thing I learned is the importance of verification.

  • You can have an amazing shot of atrocity,

  • but if you can't verify it, it's worth nothing.

  • Recently, like in the ongoing war in Syria or the war in Gaza,

  • we've seen images that are staged or brought from a different conflict.

  • This misinformation destroyed the credibility of the source,

  • and it's harmed the credibility of other reliable and trustworthy sources.

  • We use a variety of ways to make sure we can verify the information

  • and we can trust the material.

  • It starts with vetting the partners,

  • understanding who they are, and working with them very intensively.

  • How do you film a location?

  • You film road signs, you film watches,

  • you film newspapers.

  • We are checking maps, looking at maps,

  • double-checking the information,

  • and looking also at the metadata of the material.

  • Now, the fourth and the most important thing I learned

  • is how you use images to create a positive change.

  • To have an effect,

  • the key thing is how you use the material.

  • Today, we're working with hundreds of activists

  • filming undercover.

  • We work with them both to understand the situation on the ground

  • and which images are missing to describe it,

  • who are the ones that are influencing the situation,

  • and when to release the material to advance the struggle.

  • Sometimes, it's about putting it in the media,

  • mostly local ones, to create awareness.

  • Sometimes it's working with decision makers,

  • to change laws.

  • Sometimes, it's working with lawyers to use as evidence in court.

  • But more than often,

  • the most effective way to create a social change

  • is to work within the community.

  • I want to give you one example.

  • Fatuma is part of a network of women that are fighting abuses in Kenya.

  • Women in her community have been harassed constantly

  • on their way to school and on their way to work.

  • They are trying to change the behavior of the community from inside.

  • In the next clip,

  • Fatuma is taking us with her on her journey to work.

  • Her voice is superimposed on images that she filmed herself

  • using hidden cameras.

  • (Video) Fatuma Chiusiku: My name is Fatuma Chiusiku.

  • I'm 32 years old, a mother,

  • And Ziwa La Ng'Ombe is my home.

  • Each morning, I ride the mini-bus

  • Number 11.

  • But instead of a peaceful journey to work,

  • each day begins with fear.

  • Come with me now

  • and use my eyes

  • to feel what I feel.

  • As I walk, I think to myself: