Storytelling as Empowerment

Storytelling on (conflict-based) sexualised, sexual and gender-based violence

Worldwide, people, often women and girls, are affected by sexual violence in conflict and during political turmoil. As a continuation of existing gender, ethnic, racial, religious and other discrimination, inequalities and disadvantes, the ensuing consequences, such as stigmatization, physical and mental harms, and further discrimination make it difficult to talk about these experiences.

For this reason, many survivors and victims do not share these stories of crimes committed against them. Storytelling can be a powerful tool to expose injustice, fight stigmatization and encourage others to come forward with their stories. If done well, storytellers can support the fight for justice and reduce stigmatization and complement transitional justice efforts.

Together with ART WORKS Projects, the Human Rights Film Festival Berlin is organizing this one-day event to understand the impact these acts of CRSV have on survivors, the risks involved when they come forward with these accounts, and how best to tell these (collective) stories including the contexts within which they occur. Our goal is to raise awareness among storytellers that these events and surrounding circumstances are notoriously difficult to document. The conference encourages the participants to reflect on the challenges and risks in order to avoid negative consequences and find ways to tell impactful stories.


Date: October 1, 2020
Time: 8.30 am - 6.00 pm
Location: HRFFB Festival Centre @ BUFA, Oberlandstraße 26-35, 12099 Berlin

Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, only a limited number of people can participate in the events in person. However, the entire event and sessions in smaller groups will also be available to virtual participants. Registration is required for online participation, but no participation fee is charged. More about the CONFERENCE TICKETS here.


08:30 - 09:00 am: Arrival & Check In

Please arrive on time, so that you have enough time to get your accreditation and a coffee.

09:00 - 09:15 am: Welcome and Introduction

by Anna Ramskogler-Witt

09:15 - 09:30 am: Keynote

Karin Nordmeyer (President of UN Women National Committee Germany)

09:15 - 09:30 am: Keynote

Karin Nordmeyer (President of UN Women National Committee Germany)

09:30 - 10:15 am: Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: Concepts, Contexts and Remedies

Conversation and Q&A

10:15 - 10:30 am: Introduction: Making of The Prosecutors

The motivating power of so-called “spoils of war” for those who stand victorious on the battlefield is a sad but undeniable truth. Rape and pillage are concepts as old as war itself, but far from being mere collateral damage, sexual violence is a war crime and it must be punished accordingly. THE PROSECUTORS centers on the story of three lawyers who fight to ensure that sexual violence in conflict is not met with impunity. Filmed over five years, THE PROSECUTORS takes viewers across three continents on a long journey towards justice.

10:30 - 11:15 am: Break out Sessions

Difficulties and challenges of CRSV Prosecutions

Including Women in the Peace Processes

Male Survivors of CRSV

Psychological and emotional consequences of CRSV


Networking, Coffee and Cake.

11:30 - 12:00 am: What are The Risks of Working With Someone Who Has Experienced CRSV-Related Trauma

Conversation and Q&A

12:00 - 12:30 am: Mindful Storytelling

Conversation and Q&A


Network and enjoy a delicious vegan or vegetarian lunch.

01:30 - 01:40 pm: Intro Film: Letter to My Child Born of RapeLetter


01:40 - 02:30 pm: Best Practices of Storytelling

Panel discussion and Q&A

02:30 - 03:30 pm: Interviewing Victims and Survivors of CRSV – The (draft) Murad Code and Media Guidelines

Panel discussion and Q&A


Networking, Coffee and Cake.

04:00 - 05:00 pm: Interactive Session

Group Work

05:00 - 05:30 pm: Closing Remarks

followed by Q&A

05:30 - 06:00 pm: Reading "Our Bodies, Their Battlefiels" by Christina Lamb

Reading by Christina Lamb, foreign correspondant at the "Sunday Times" and author of "Our Bodies, Their Battlefields"

Guests meet Guests

Connect with other participants at the Guests meet Guests.

Further Conferences at the Human Rights Film Forum

Date: October 2, 2020

Start: 8:30 am

End: 5:30 pm

More Information


In many ways, the current coronavirus pandemic serves as a catalyst for distributing lies, misleading information and conspiracy theories. The effects of disinformation, hate speech and populist speech on political life and democratic and social values are now becoming brutally visible. On 2 October, we will discuss strategies for resisting populism, the spread of disinformation and internet and social media use to propagate hate speech.

Date: October 5, 2020

Start: 8:30 am

End: 6:30 pm

More Information


On 5 October, Berlin will host internationally renowned experts from a wide range of fields. Together with experts and storytellers, as well as representatives of German politics and civil society, we will think about how we can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the challenges we face and how to overcome them.

Date: October 6-8, 2020

Start: 8:30 am

Ende: 6:00 pm

More Information


Climate communication is more critical than ever before: we need excellent storytelling to achieve its full potential and reach the audiences that matter. Out of this conviction, we will bring the Climate Story Lab to Berlin to discuss sustainable storytelling with experts. Together, we aim to create innovative, diverse and sustainable climate storytelling approaches and foster transdisciplinary partnerships.

1. OCTOBER 2020