We Strive to Build Our Homes

Feature Story

 

Gibe III, the tallest dam in Africa, was predicted to hit 500,000 people who lived along the Omo River and the surrounding area of ​​Lake Turkana. Environmental and human rights organizations called it “a slow genocide” 20 years after Rwanda. This border of Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Sudan has the most diverse ethnic groups and culture in Africa, but it is also one of the most barren areas since ancient times. During obstacles of the construction of Gibe III, the Ethiopian government suppressed local protests with the army and police, and expelled international journalists, researchers, and non-governmental organizations. This investigative reportage, with over 50,000 texts, 80 negative and positive films, documented the lives of people living by the water before the forced relocation of the village. It covered the stories that the locals risked their lives and told us that they had to tell. The reportage also looked back at Taiwan’s anti-reservoir and homeland protection movement in the early days of the lifting of martial law. It interviewed and combed through the life changes of key actors in the past 30 years, and documented their reflections. Taiwan’s democracy and freedom of speech were better than Ethiopia, but the battle for the right of speech were unavoidable.

Both reservoir disputes reflected different visions of what a “better home” means. Even in the same country, the collective dream do not always represent individual dreams. People competed against each other’s discourse, striving with history. In 2020, Ethiopia has experienced antigovernmental movement, had a president who won the Nobel Peace Prize, but once again was disputed by dictatorship and genocide suspicions; Taiwan had passed the general election, watched the change of Hong Kong and encountered the global epidemic, people’s ideas about the future seemed never the same.

非洲最高聳水庫「吉貝三號」被預估將衝擊歐莫河流域及圖爾卡納湖周邊50萬人生息,生態及人權組織稱之為「盧安達事件20年後緩慢的種族屠殺」。這塊衣索比亞、肯亞、南蘇丹的交壤地,擁有非洲最多元的族群及文化,卻也是自古以來最貧瘠的地帶之一。衣索匹亞政府在水庫興建的波折中,不惜以軍、警鎮壓當地反抗者,並驅逐國際記者、研究者、非政府組織。這篇調查報導,以五萬字內容及80張正負片影像,紀錄了遭強制遷村前,人們逐水而居的生活,以及當地人甘冒危險也要說出的故事。報導同時回望臺灣解嚴初期的反水庫、保護家園運動,訪談、爬梳30年來各關鍵角色的人生變動,聆聽他們的反思;臺灣的民主與言論自由均勝衣索匹亞,然仍無可避免話語權的爭奪戰。

兩場水庫爭議,都反映著不同居民對美好家園的不同想像,在同一國度內,集體夢想亦不永遠代表個體夢想。人們在彼此的論述裡較量,同歷史掙扎前行。2020年,衣索匹亞經歷了反政府運動、有個獲得諾貝爾和平獎的總統、卻又再度籠上獨裁與種族屠殺疑雲;臺灣度過大選,旁觀香港變天、面臨全球疫情,人們對未來何去何從的想法亦不相同。

《我們掙扎,築起家園》  Part A  Part B

Investigative Journalism

  • Addis Ababa, ET
  • Jinka, ET
  • Areas along Omo River and Lake Turkana, ET
  • Kaohsiung, TW
  • 2014
  •  
  • Producer, Journalist and Composition: Yunjie Liao
  • Imagery and Layouts: Lungyin Lim
  • Fixers and Interpreters: Anonymous
  • Sponsor: WeReport/ The Association of Quality Journalism, and multiple backers