A trip to Guyana on assignment as a private investigator led New Yorker Margaret Clemons to the country’s culture of violence, and the youth she would later inspire to tell their tale through photography in “Rebecca’s Story,” a short film which premiered to rave reviews at the recent CAFA Film Nights, Guyanese edition in Brooklyn.
Clemons, who started Witness Project International — a foundation to engage youth communities in arts-based programs, spoke passionately about using this medium to address violence because of the way art appeals to people.
“We are affected by what we see, and awareness makes us want to do, and change things,” Clemons said.
The gripping narrative about violence at the hands of Rebecca’s grandmother, and how the youth escapes the brutality by dreaming of the jungle — raises a serious issue about the epidemic that continues to threaten the lives Guyanese youth.
Rebecca’s new life comes through a literacy program from a neighbor who was a ‘witness’ to violence in the yard of the family’s home.