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TEDGlobal 2014

Boniface Mwangi: The day I stood up alone

Boniface Mwangi: O dia em que eu protestei sozinho

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O fotógrafo Boniface Mwangi queria protestar contra a corrupção em seu país natal, Quênia. Então ele planejou o seguinte: ele e alguns amigos se manifestariam e protestariam durante um grande evento público. Mas quando chegou o momento... ele protestou sozinho. O que aconteceu depois, diz ele, mostrou-lhe quem ele realmente era. Como ele diz:"Há dois dias que são os mais importantes de sua vida. O dia em que você nasce, e o dia que você descobre o porquê." Graphic images.

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Boniface Mwangi is an award-winning Kenyan photographer, artist and activist. He is a TED Fellow. Full bio

People back home call me a heckler,
As pessoas de onde venho
me chamavam de importuno,
00:13
a troublemaker, an irritant,
de desordeiro, de irritante,
00:16
a rebel, an activist,
de rebelde, de ativista,
00:19
the voice of the people.
de voz do povo.
00:21
But that wasn't always me.
Mas não fui sempre assim.
00:23
Growing up, I had a nickname.
Crescendo, eu tinha um apelido.
00:26
They used to call me Softy,
Me chamavam de fracote,
00:28
meaning the soft, harmless boy.
como um garoto fraco e inofensivo.
00:30
Like every other human being,
I avoided trouble.
Como qualquer outro ser humano,
eu evitava problemas.
00:33
In my childhood, they taught me silence.
Na minha infância,
me ensinaram a silenciar.
00:36
Don't argue, do as you're told.
Não discuta, faça o que mandam.
00:38
In Sunday school, they taught me
don't confront, don't argue,
Na escola dominical me ensinaram
a não confrontar, a não discutir,
00:40
even if you're right,
turn the other cheek.
mesmo certo, dê a outra face.
00:44
This was reinforced
by the political climate of the time.
Isto era reforçado
pelo clima político da época.
00:47
(Laughter)
(Risos)
00:52
Kenya is a country
where you are guilty
O Quênia é um país onde você é culpado
00:55
until proven rich.
até que se prove rico.
00:57
(Laughter)
(Risos)
01:00
Kenya's poor are five times more likely
Os pobres do Quênia têm
até cinco vezes mais chances
01:02
to be shot dead by the police
who are meant to protect them
de ser mortos pela polícia,
que deveria protegê-los,
01:05
than by criminals.
do que pelos criminosos.
01:08
This was reinforced
by the political climate of the day.
Isto era reforçado
pelo clima político de então.
01:10
We had a president,
Moi, who was a dictator.
Nós tínhamos um presidente,
Moi, que era um ditador.
01:12
He ruled the country with an iron fist,
Ele governava o país com punho de ferro,
01:15
and anyone who dared
question his authority
e qualquer um que ousasse
questionar sua autoridade
01:18
was arrested, tortured,
jailed or even killed.
era detido, torturado, preso ou até morto.
01:20
That meant that people were taught
to be smart cowards, stay out of trouble.
O povo era ensinado a ser covarde esperto,
ficar longe de problemas.
01:25
Being a coward was not an insult.
Ser covarde não era um insulto.
01:29
Being a coward was a compliment.
Ser covarde era um elogio.
01:31
We used to be told that a coward
goes home to his mother.
Nos diziam que um covarde
volta para casa, para a sua mãe.
01:33
What that meant: that if you stayed
out of trouble you're going to stay alive.
Isso significava que se você ficasse
fora de problemas, você ficaria vivo.
01:36
I used to question this advice,
Eu questionava esse conselho
01:40
and eight years ago
we had an election in Kenya,
e oito anos atrás,
nós tivemos uma eleição no Quênia,
01:42
and the results were violently disputed.
e os resultados
foram violentamente questionados.
01:45
What followed that election
was terrible violence, rape,
O que se seguiu àquela eleição
foi uma violência terrível, estupros,
01:47
and the killing of over 1,000 people.
e o assassinato de mais de mil pessoas.
01:52
My work was to document the violence.
Meu trabalho era documentar a violência.
01:56
As a photographer,
I took thousands of images,
Como fotógrafo,
eu tirei milhares de fotos,
01:59
and after two months,
e depois de dois meses,
02:02
the two politicians came together,
had a cup of tea,
os dois políticos se reuniram,
beberam chá,
02:04
signed a peace agreement,
and the country moved on.
assinaram um acordo de paz,
e o país seguiu em frente.
02:09
I was a very disturbed man
because I saw the violence firsthand.
Eu fiquei muito perturbado
porque eu vi a violência em primeira mão.
02:12
I saw the killings.
I saw the displacement.
Eu vi os assassinatos.
Eu vi a fuga da população.
02:16
I met women who had been raped,
and it disturbed me,
Eu conheci mulheres que foram estupradas,
e isso me perturbou,
02:19
but the country never spoke about it.
mas o país nunca falou disso.
02:22
We pretended. We all became smart cowards.
Nós fingimos. Todos nos tornamos
covardes espertos.
02:24
We decided to stay out of trouble
and not talk about it.
Decidimos ficar fora de problemas
e não falar sobre isso.
02:27
Ten months later, I quit my job.
I said I could not stand it anymore.
Dez meses depois, saí do meu emprego.
Disse que não aguentava mais.
02:30
After quitting my job,
I decided to organize my friends
Depois de sair do emprego,
decidi organizar meus amigos
02:34
to speak about
the violence in the country,
para falar sobre a violência no país,
02:36
to speak about the state of the nation,
para falar sobre o estado da nação,
02:38
and June 1, 2009 was the day
that we were meant to go to the stadium
e 1º de junho de 2009 era o dia
que deveríamos ir ao estádio
02:40
and try and get the president's attention.
e tentaríamos ter a atenção do presidente.
02:44
It's a national holiday,
Era um feriado nacional,
02:46
it's broadcast across the country,
Era transmitido em todo o país.
02:48
and I showed up at the stadium.
E, eu apareci no estádio.
02:49
My friends did not show up.
Meus amigos não apareceram.
02:53
I found myself alone,
Me encontrei sozinho,
02:56
and I didn't know what to do.
e eu não sabia o que fazer.
02:59
I was scared,
Eu estava assustado,
03:02
but I knew very well
that that particular day,
mas eu sabia muito bem
que naquele dia,
03:03
I had to make a decision.
eu tinha que decidir.
03:05
Was I able to live as a coward,
like everyone else,
Eu poderia viver como um covarde,
como os outros,
03:07
or was I going to make a stand?
ou eu tomaria uma posição?
03:09
And when the president stood up to speak,
E quando o presidente
se levantou para falar,
03:11
I found myself on my feet
shouting at the president,
eu me encontrei de pé
gritando contra o presidente,
03:13
telling him to remember
the post-election violence victims,
dizendo para que lembrasse
das vítimas da violência pós-eleição,
03:17
to stop the corruption.
para que acabasse com a corrução.
03:21
And suddenly, out of nowhere,
E de repente, do nada,
03:23
the police pounced on me
like hungry lions.
a polícia pulou sobre mim
como leões famintos.
03:25
They held my mouth
Eles taparam minha boca
03:28
and dragged me out of the stadium,
e me arrastaram para fora do estádio,
03:30
where they thoroughly beat me up
and locked me up in jail.
onde eles me bateram exaustivamente
e me colocaram na cadeia.
03:32
I spent that night in
a cold cement floor in the jail,
Eu passei aquela noite
sobre o frio chão de cimento da cadeia,
03:37
and that got me thinking.
e isso me fez pensar.
03:43
What was making me feel this way?
O que fazia com que me sentisse assim?
03:46
My friends and family thought
I was crazy because of what I did,
Meus amigos e família pensaram
que eu era louco, pelo que fiz.
03:48
and the images that I took
were disturbing my life.
E as fotos que tirei
estavam perturbando minha vida.
03:51
The images that I took
were just a number to many Kenyans.
As fotos que tirei
eram apenas números para muitos quenianos.
03:56
Most Kenyans did not see the violence.
Muitos não viram violência.
03:59
It was a story to them.
Era uma história para eles.
04:01
And so I decided to actually
start a street exhibition
Então decidi começar uma exibição de rua
04:03
to show the images of the violence
across the country
para mostrar as imagens
da violência pelo país
04:05
and get people talking about it.
e fazer as pessoas falarem sobre isso.
04:08
We traveled the country
and showed the images,
Nós viajamos pelo país
e mostramos as imagens,
04:10
and this was a journey that has started me
to the activist path,
e essa foi a jornada que me iniciou
no caminho do ativismo,
04:13
where I decided to become silent no more,
onde decidi não mais ser silencioso,
04:16
to talk about those things.
a falar sobre essas coisas.
04:19
We traveled, and our general site
from our street exhibit
Nós viajamos, e o local
da nossa exibição de rua
04:21
became for political graffiti
about the situation in the country,
virou local para grafite político
sobre a situação no país,
04:25
talking about corruption, bad leadership.
falando sobre corrupção, liderança ruim.
04:30
We have even done symbolic burials.
Nós até fizemos enterros simbólicos.
04:33
We have delivered live pigs
to Kenya's parliament
Nós entregamos porcos vivos
para o parlamento do Quênia
04:36
as a symbol of our politicians' greed.
como símbolo da ganância dos políticos.
04:40
It has been done in Uganda
and other countries,
Isso era feito em Uganda
e em outros países,
04:42
and what is most powerful is that
the images have been picked by the media
e o mais importante é que as imagens
foram pegas pela media
04:45
and amplified across the country,
across the continent.
e amplificadas pelo país,
pelo continente.
04:48
Where I used to stand up alone
seven years ago,
Onde eu levantava sozinho
sete anos atrás,
04:51
now I belong to a community
of many people who stand up with me.
agora pertenço a uma comunidade
de muitos que protestam comigo.
04:54
I am no longer alone when I stand up
to speak about these things.
Eu não estou mais sozinho quando levanto
para falar sobre estas coisas.
04:57
I belong to a group of young people
who are passionate about the country,
Eu pertenço a um grupo de jovens
que são apaixonados pelo país,
05:02
who want to bring about change,
que querem trazer mudanças,
05:06
and they're no longer afraid,
and they're no longer smart cowards.
e que não têm mais medo,
e que não são mais covardes espertos.
05:08
So that was my story.
Então essa era minha história.
05:13
That day in the stadium,
Aquele dia no estádio,
05:18
I stood up as a smart coward.
eu me levantei como um covarde esperto.
05:20
By that one action, I said goodbye
to the 24 years living as a coward.
Através daquela ação, eu me despedi
dos 24 anos que vivi como um covarde.
05:23
There are two most powerful
days in your life:
Existem os dois dias
mais importantes da sua vida:
05:28
the day you're born,
and the day you discover why.
o dia que você nasce,
e o dia que você descobre o porquê.
05:31
That day standing up in that stadium
shouting at the President,
No dia que me levantei naquele estádio,
gritando contra o presidente,
05:36
I discovered why I was truly born,
foi quando eu descobri
o motivo de ter nascido,
05:40
that I would no longer be silent
in the face of injustice.
que eu não mais ficaria em silêncio
diante da injustiça.
05:43
Do you know why you were born?
Você sabe o motivo de ter nascido?
05:47
Thank you.
Obrigado.
05:51
(Applause)
(Aplausos)
05:53
Tom Rielly: It's an amazing story.
Tom Rielly: Essa é uma história incrível.
06:00
I just want to ask you
a couple quick questions.
Eu só quero te perguntar algumas questões.
06:03
So PAWA254:
Então PAWA254:
06:05
you've created a studio, a place
where young people can go
você criou um estúdio, um local
onde jovens podem ir
06:07
and harness the power of digital media
e aproveitar o poder da mídia digital
06:12
to do some of this action.
para fazer algumas dessas ações.
06:14
What's happening now with PAWA?
O que está acontecendo agora com PAWA?
06:16
Boniface Mwangi: So we have
this community of filmmakers,
Boniface Mwangi: Nós temos
essa comunidade de cineastas,
06:18
graffiti artists, musicians,
and when there's an issue in the country,
grafiteiros, músicos,
e quando tem um problema no país,
06:21
we come together, we brainstorm,
and take up on that issue.
nós nos juntamos, debatemos
e assumimos o problema.
06:24
So our most powerful tool is art,
Nossa ferramenta mais importante é a arte,
06:27
because we live in a very busy world
where people are so busy in their life,
porque vivemos num mundo muito ocupado
onde as pessoas são tão ocupadas
06:29
and they don't have time to read.
que elas não têm tempo para ler.
06:33
So we package our activism
and we package our message in art.
Então empacotamos nosso ativismo
e empacotamos nossa mensagem na arte.
06:35
So from the music, the graffiti,
the art, that's what we do.
Música, grafite, arte, é isso que fazemos.
06:39
Can I say one more thing?
Posso falar mais uma coisa?
06:45
TR: Yeah, of course. (Applause)
TR: Sim, claro.
(Aplausos)
06:47
BM: In spite of being arrested,
beaten up, threatened,
BM: Apesar de ter sido preso,
ameaçado, ter apanhado,
06:49
the moment I discovered my voice,
no momento que descobri minha voz,
06:52
that I could actually stand up
for what I really believed in,
que eu podia me impor
pelo que realmente acreditava,
06:53
I'm no longer afraid.
eu não tenho mais medo.
06:56
I used to be called softy,
but I'm no longer softy,
Eu era chamado de fracote,
mas não sou mais,
06:57
because I discovered who I really am,
as in, that's what I want to do,
porque descobri quem eu realmente sou,
como, é isso que eu quero fazer,
07:00
and there's such beauty in doing that.
e há uma beleza nisso.
07:03
There's nothing as powerful as that,
knowing that I'm meant to do this,
Não há nada mais poderoso que isso,
saber que é isso que devo fazer,
07:06
because you don't get scared,
you just continue living your life.
porque você não se assusta,
só continua vivendo sua vida.
07:10
Thank you.
Obrigado.
07:13
(Applause)
(Aplausos)
07:15
Translated by Raysa Valentim
Reviewed by Andrea Mussap

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About the speaker:

Boniface Mwangi -
Boniface Mwangi is an award-winning Kenyan photographer, artist and activist. He is a TED Fellow.

Why you should listen
For four years Boniface Mwangi held a staff photography position at The Standard, the second largest Kenyan newspaper, taking on various assignments of increasing responsibility in a number of countries. Mwangi became the eye of Kenyans during the 2007 post-election violence and showed courage and compassion to capture thousands of images, some so gory that they could not be published.

Following the political resolution to the election crisis, Boniface started to see himself as a visual artist, using photography as the vehicle for social change in Kenya. His focus was the fight against the impunity of politicians in the face of over 1000 dead and half a million people displaced as a result of the violence they caused.

"Boniface’s images are crucial for the healing of our nation; his ability to stay focused and inject a sense of artistry into his work is a testimony to the spirit of professional journalism," wrote Jackson Biko after Boniface was voted Kenya Photojournalist of the Year in 2008 by readers of Adam, a men’s magazine in the country.

Since then, Boniface has continued to work as a freelance photographer for Bloomberg, the AFP, Reuters, the Boston Globe, and other media outlets while building a movement for social change in Kenya through “Picha Mtaani” (Swahili for street exhibition). The photo exhibit aims to heal the scars of Kenyans and draw their attention to the dynamics of the violence to prevent a repeat during the upcoming elections of 2013.

Boniface founded Pawa254 as a collaborative hub where journalists, artists and activists could meet to find innovative ways of achieving social change. The hub has already had many functions, but two campaigns stand out. “Heal the Nation” is a very successful initiative to show a half-hour documentary about post-election violence to as many Kenyans as possible and facilitate discussions around the film. The campaign is accompanied by a more shadowy graffiti campaign that has evoked strong reactions and fired up the youth of Kenya and the world, as images of the clever graffiti grace the pages of the world’s newspapers.

In 2009 United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote a letter commending Boniface for his work during the post-election violence. She stated, "Your photography is absolutely stunning and tells an important and powerful story for the world to hear."
More profile about the speaker
Boniface Mwangi | Speaker | TED.com