Elien Spillebeen

Elien studied International Politics in Gent and Aix-en-Provence and specialized in my master year in third world politics.

To complete her research for her master thesis Elien left for Eastern Congo for the first time in 2008. At her own initiative she returned several times to the region to spend more time with the women of this region. She wanted to understand the different aspects of a woman's life in one of the most dangerous region to live as a woman. She gave herself the mission the create a balanced portret of women living in a conflict region. This resulted in the documentary Backup Butembo, but also led to the founding of the organisation Mama Kivu.

The resilience of the women inspired her to get more involved herself. In 2017 she launched the project Beni Files, an online monument and documentary to give the victims of a series of massacres in Eastern Congo a human face.

  Credits foto: Duncan De Fey