Originally published on Open Democracy 50.50, 30 September 2016.
By Fiona Lloyd-Davies
Masika was a tiny woman, barely five feet tall, but she was a giant of a person. She was often in a hurry, and at the moment I am recollecting, she was irritated. I was holding her up. “Fiona,” she says, “I don’t have time to sit and talk to you. If I don’t go out to the fields and get cassava, we’ll all starve.” “No problem,” I say, “I’ll come too.”
It was 2011, and I’d come to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to film her. I’d been slowly gathering footage over the past four years to make a feature-length documentary called Seeds of Hope. On each visit I filmed different aspects of Masika’s life and work, hoping to capture her remarkable story. It’s a tale of survival and hope lived in defiance of the nearly unbearable physical and psychological violence Masika experienced in her lifetime.