Category Archives: Human Rights Archive

Hostage Nation Receives WOLA-Duke Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America

Hostage Nation: Colombia’s Guerrilla Army and the Failed War on Drugs, written by Victoria Bruce, Karin Hayes and Jorge Enrique Botero, has won the third annual WOLA-Duke Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America.

The book, published last month by Alfred A. Knopf, is the story of three American contractors and Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt held hostage by the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) for over five years before their rescue in 2008. The book draws on Botero’s exclusive interviews with the American contractors, as well as extensive research on the FARC and the Colombian drug trade, to illustrate the impact of Colombia’s war and the U.S. war on drugs in Colombia.

The Washington Office on Latin America and Duke University created the prize to honor the best current, non-fiction book published in English on human rights, democracy and social justice in contemporary Latin America.The WOLA-Duke Book Award aims to draw the general public’s attention to good writing on contemporary Latin America. Francisco Goldman won the first award in 2008 for his book, The Art of Political Murder. Heraldo Muñoz’s The Dictator’s Shadow was last year’s winner.

Later this fall, the authors will visit the Duke University Libraries for an event co-sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights at the RBMSCL and the Duke Human Rights Center. We’ll have all the event details as they are announced here at The Devil’s Tale!

To read the entire press release from the Washington Office on Latin America, click here.

Rights! Camera! Action!: Trouble the Water

Date: Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Sarah P. Duke Gardens (map and directions)
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu, or Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)duke.edu

As Hurricane Katrina bore down on New Orleans, 9th Ward resident Kimberly Rivers Roberts, an aspiring rap artist, and her husband Scott, used their Hi 8 camera to film their experience of the storm, from the trepidation of the day before the storm’s landfall to the failing of the levees. Trouble the Water weaves this home movie footage with archival news segments and verite footage shot over the next two years to tell the story of a community struggling to rebuild itself.

The film screening will be preceded by a panel discussion with Wahneema Lubiano and Mark Anthony Neal, both of Duke’s Department of African and African American Studies.

The Rights! Camera! Action! film series, which is sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Archive of Documentary Arts, the Duke Human Rights Center, the Franklin Humanities Institute, and Screen/Society at Duke’s Arts of the Moving Image Program, features documentaries on human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The films are archived at the RBMSCL, where they form part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials.

Patricia Derian Papers Coming to Duke

The Archive for Human Rights has signed an agreement with Patricia Murphy Derian to serve as the repository for her papers, which document her long career in human rights.

Patt, as she is known to friends and family, was involved in the civil rights struggles in Mississippi prior to being tapped by President Jimmy Carter to head the newly-minted Bureau for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. In 1977, she became the nation’s very first assistant secretary for human rights.

Her papers consist of country files, general files, correspondence, and a collection of audio and video interviews. Processing of the collection will begin immediately and should be complete by summer of 2010. If you’d like to arrange a visit to view the collection, or if you have any questions, please e-mail us at special-collections(at)duke.edu.

Post contributed by Patrick Stawski, Human Rights Archivist.

Solidarity with Incarcerated Women

Date: Monday, March 29, 2010
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Duke Women’s Center (map and directions)
Contact Information: Kelly Wooten, 919-660-5967 or kelly.wooten(at)duke.edu

When we think of prisoners, we generally think of men. Yet according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 114,000 women are currently incarcerated in the United States.

In Monday’s discussion, Victoria Law, author of the newly-released Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women and publisher of Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison, will examine the particular challenges facing incarcerated women and discuss their past and present strategies of resistance.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Duke graduate student and member of the organizing committee for Durham’s Harm Free Zone, will talk about the Harm Free Zone process and facilitate interactive writing exercises based on some of the writings in Tenacious.

This event is co-sponsored by Duke’s Women’s Center, the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, and the Archive for Human Rights.

Rights! Camera! Action!: The Self-Made Man

Date: Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu, or Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)duke.edu

The Self-Made Man, the fifth film in the Rights! Camera! Action! series, Bob Stern decides to end his life after being diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness.

Susan Stern, the film’s director (and Bob’s daughter), will lead discussion following the film.

The Rights! Camera! Action! film series, which is sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Archive of Documentary Arts, the Duke Human Rights Center, the Franklin Humanities Institute, and Screen/Society at Duke’s Arts of the Moving Image Program, features documentaries on human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The films are archived at the RBMSCL, where they form part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials. Additional support for this screening is provided by the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Divinity School Institute on Care at the End of Life.

Rights! Camera! Action!: Escuela

Date: Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu, or Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)duke.edu

Courtesy of Women Make Movies


Rights! Camera! Action! is starting off the spring semester with a screening of Hannah Weyer’s 2002 documentary, Escuela. This film centers on Liliana Luis, the daughter of Mexican American farm workers, as she begins her first year of high school.

The Rights! Camera! Action! film series, which is sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Archive of Documentary Arts, the Duke Human Rights Center, and the Franklin Humanities Institute, features documentaries on human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The films are archived at the RBMSCL, where they form part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials.

Rights! Camera! Action!: No Umbrella and Please Vote for Me

Date: Tuesday, 3 November, 2009
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu, or Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)duke.edu

Celebrate Election Day at the second installment of Rights! Camera! Action! This monthly film series, which is sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Archive of Documentary Arts, the Duke Human Rights Center, and the Franklin Humanities Institute, features documentaries on human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The films are archived at the RBMSCL, where they form part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials.

No Umbrella (26 minutes) shows Fannie Lewis in action on November 2, 2004 as she struggles to manage a polling station in a predominantly African American precinct in Cleveland, Ohio. Facing record numbers at the polls, Ms. Lewis spends her day on a cell phone begging for the machines and the technical support Ward 7 needs to handle the throngs of frustrated voters. This documentary won the Jury Award for Best Short at the 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

Please Vote for Me (58 minutes) is a portrait of a society and a town in through a school, its children and its families. In Wuhan, China, a 3rd grade class at Evergreen Primary School has their first encounter with democracy by holding an election to select a Class Monitor. Eight-year-olds compete against each other for the coveted position, abetted and egged on by teachers and doting parents.

Kerry L. Haynie of Duke’s Department of Political Science and Ralph Litzinger of Duke’s Department of Cultural Anthropology will lead discussion following the films.

Witnessing Iran: 1979 and 2009

Date: Wednesday, 4 November, 2009
Time: 4:30 PM
Location: Perkins Library 217
Contact Information: Ilene Nelson, 919-660-5816 or ilene.nelson(at)duke.edu

On the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the Iran Hostage Crisis, the RBMSCL will host a discussion of the changing role of the eyewitness account in the creation of historical narrative—with Iran as the context.

Mark Bowden, author of Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam, will talk about the interviews he conducted with hostages and hostage-takers in the 1979 crisis, as well as the information he obtained from military officials about 1980’s failed rescue attempt.

Negar Mottahedeh, associate professor in Duke’s Program in Literature, will speak about social networks and new media in the reporting of current events in Iran. Professor Mottahedeh posts frequently on Twitter about developments in Iran (follow her here).

The discussion will be moderated by Bruce Kuniholm, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy and a member of both the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Policy Planning Staff during the Carter administration.

Library staff have prepared a LibGuide in conjunction with this event. Of particular interest, the RBMSCL holds the interviews Mark Bowden conducted (collection guide here), as well as the interviews that author and Duke alum Tim Wells conducted with 36 of the the 1979 hostages (collection guide here).

Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz at the RBMSCL

Date: Thursday, 15 October, 2009
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu

Ambassador Muñoz will read from and sign The Dictator’s Shadow: Life under Augusto Pinochet. The winner of the second annual WOLA-Duke Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America, this poignant and wide-ranging memoir recounts how Chileans brought the former dictator to account for his crimes. Ariel Dorfman, the Walter Hines Page Chair of Literature and Latin American Studies and a long-time friend of the ambassador, will give the introduction. Duke University’s Gothic Bookshop will sell copies of the book. This event is co-sponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Ambassador Muñoz was Deputy Foreign Minister of Chile from 2000 to 2002 and Minister Secretary General from 2002 to 2003 at La Moneda Presidential Palace before assuming his present post as Chile’s ambassador to the United Nations. He was imprisoned and exiled by the Pinochet regime for his political views.