Night and Silence

Part of the Global Perspectives on War and Peace Collection.

Over images of the destruction in Massawa, the main port city in the Ethiopian province of Eritrea, a voiceover explains the disastrous effects of war on the citizens of Eritrea. Eritrean nationalists have been fighting for thirty years for independence from Ethiopia. The stakes are high for Ethiopia, as an independent Eritrea would leave Ethiopia land-locked and without access to the massive oil trade on the Red Sea. The voiceover explains that since 1990, Ethiopia has focused its efforts on destroying the Eritrean food supply, forcing its citizens into desperate poverty. The formerly bustling port in Massawa has been bombed so often that ships no longer travel there. Having sold their livestock and even their seed, families in the last stages of poverty scour the dirt looking for wild grain to provide their next meal. Over five hours of digging has provided only a small bowl of seeds to feed an entire family for a day. Still, Eritreans are interviewed saying that they do not wish to become refugees as long as they can find some way to acquire food and water.

Eritrea eventually gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, two years after this videotape was completed.



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