The documentary #wearekabul by Tine Vanhee and Gieljan Van Goethem is one to watch. Set in Afghanistan, it tries - and succeeds - to show a different, more nuanced image of life in Kabul. Far too many times, countries who are dealing with conflicts and oppression are portrayed as weak countries where everything goes wrong. This documentary shows there's more to it.
Media and politicians focus solely on the negative things and of course this deserves attention. However, it's striking how many times there's a focus on either terrorism - which makes some people think the majority of the population is a terrorist because of course a regime always reflects the mindset of the population - or the suffering of the people, with no attention for the strength that lies within them.
This is not only wrong, it's also dangerous. First of all because it paints a very black and white picture with no space for nuances or another side of life in these countries. Secondly, it feeds our "us-them" thinking in such a way that we no longer see people, but "others". The more we get alienated from each other, the less solidarity and humanity we show.
#wearekabul avoids this and portrays five strong women and how each of them fight for their Afghanistan. Throughout the documentary, we get to know a rapster, a photographer, an artist, a professional cyclist and a journalist. Each in their own inspiring way they try to make Afghanistan theirs again. Furthermore this documentary focuses on women. In Afghanistan gender equality has known a huge setback. The country (and let's be honest the rest of the world as well) needs these kind of role models. It's also refreshing to see how women aren't the victim but the resistance in this story. They have a voice and they damn well know how the use it.
Want to see for yourself? On the 25th of June there''ll be a short version on Vranckx or go see the full version here:
26/5 Pianofabriek, Brussels
27/5 Het Bos, Antwerp
3/6 De Vieze Gasten, Ghent