Human Rights

Flashback: Journey of Hope to Africa with Heritier Lumumba, 2009

Heritier Lumumba, who I hesitate to describe as a former Collingwood FC star given he is so much more, is much in the news at present. There’s a terrific long read on his campaign to call out racism today by the ABC’s Russell Jackson in which Heritier, in calling out the media more widely, gives me an honourable mention. This relates to a life-changing – for both of us – trip we did together to Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo back in late 2008. The story, for Good Weekend, is pretty much invisible as it was never digitised, but you can find a (slightly cranky) archived text version of it here. The trip was seismic for Heritier for reasons I hope are clear in the story. For me, it was deeply confronting at so many levels, not least making me question the legitimacy and usefulness of telling stories of places and cultures that are not my own. It set me down the path of striving to decolonise my journalism. I can’t say I’ve succeeded, but the struggle increasingly defines the way I approach stories, question interviewees, read history and construct narrative.