While discussion around sexual harassment and assault predates hashtags and visual arts, the culture shift in recent years has been palpable — for the first time ever, the world has been put on notice that these once-nascent women’s movements were not to be ignored. And since people have started to listen, hopefully, we get where we need to soon.
Kyenvu, winner of the Pan African Film Festival’s Grand Jury Best Short Film Award is a raw and breathless account of a fearless Ugandan woman’s determination to assert herself in a world where she’s constantly being preyed upon. Kemiyondo Coutinho stars in the film as the young woman who encounters street harassment daily. When she finally lets her guard down, she’s attacked in the worst possible way.
Calling out and standing against sexual harassment is multiphasic. On one side, it’s a declarative statement that ‘I’m not ashamed’ and ‘I’m not alone’. On another side, it’s a statement from survivor to survivor that says ‘I see you, I hear you, I understand you and I’m here for you or I get it’. Then we have the allies who advocate for shining a light on and ending rape culture, misogyny, harassment and the dangers that women encounter on a daily basis as they go about their lives. Kemiyondo Coutinho holds a mirror up to the allies (the good guys), investigating their actions or inactions when they witness these things happen at the hands of other men.
Besides harassment and assault, Coutinho also touches on colourism in Uganda with an all Ugandan cast and crew. Watch the trailer here;
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