International Women’s Day - documentary film "Boko Haram: Journey from Evil"

When, local time: 
Wednesday, 7 March 2018 -
3:00pm to 5:30pm
France, Paris
Type of Event: 
Film projection

This International Women’s Day, UNESCO will screen a feature-length documentary from Voice of America, “Boko Haram: Journey from Evil” which delivers an unprecedented examination of the Islamic fundamentalist group notorious for its brutal abduction and continued captivity of young school girls.

Amplified by 18 hours of secret Boko Haram videos obtained by Voice of America, the film reveals a previously hidden world of terrorists. As the title suggests, “Journey from Evil” pushes beyond the record of violence to examine the underpinnings of Boko Haram, the Nigerian government’s response, and the inspirational stories of extraordinary Nigerians risking their lives to create a new normalcy. The stories of three Nigerian citizens who are resisting the terrorists and working to bring about change are covered:

The ‘Queen Hunter,’ who leads patrols to track and apprehend Boko Haram fighters in their home territory, the vast, dense Sambisa forest.

A social media activist who has raised money and awareness in support of the hundreds Chibok school girls whose abductions in 2014 brought global awareness and condemnation.

An amateur photographer in the conflict-ridden Borno State whose portraits of Nigerians continuing on with their lives provide arresting images of suffering, survival, and hope.

Register here


  • Beth Mendelson, VOA’s Senior Executive Producer, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker focused on issue oriented programming. Her prior work for Voice of America includes the news series Boko Haram: Terror Unmasked, based on 18 hours of original video from Boko Haram, and the documentaries A Single Step, a look at global women leaders hosted by actress Sally Field; AIDS: Living in the Shadows, an unvarnished look at overcoming the stigma of AIDS in communities around the world, hosted by Sir Elton John; John F. Kennedy: A Legacy Remembered, exploring the legacy of the late U.S. president 50 years after his assassination; and Fateful Harvest, that investigated Afghanistan’s opium trade and its challenge to the country’s stability. Her communication career spans 30 years across non-profit organizations, broadcast media, and the U.S. government. She has been an Executive Producer for major American and European networks, including PBS, CNN, ITN, ARD, and MSNBC.

  • Vivienne Walt is an award-winning foreign correspondent, who writes for TIME Magazine and Fortune, traveling widely around Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  She has reported from more than 30 countries, though wars, terrorism, revolutions and natural disasters, and the intersection of global business, politics, and human drama. A regular guest on CNN, NPR, WGBH “The World” and France 24, she has also had her work published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, BusinessWeek, The Los Angeles Times, and other publications.

  • Jean-Christophe Servant is an authority on Africa issues and a contributor to Le Monde Diplomatique, a monthly newspaper that offers analysis and opinion on current affairs, and GEO, a monthly magazine about world travel and culture for which he has been writing since 2006. Servant is the author of two books about Africa – Africa Year Zero, and South Africa: A Century of Resistance.  Africa Year Zero, co-authored by Anne-Cécile Robert, offers an analysis of Sub-Saharan Africa in the decades after the Cold War on issues of politics, culture, society and economics, in particular the rapid changes that have taken place since the year 2000. The book portrays sub-Saharan Africa as a microcosm for other resource-rich countries of the possible pitfalls on the road to development. Servant’s second book, “South Africa: A Century of Resistance (1910-2010),” takes a look at the unknown and sometimes underestimated forces that have combined to create today’s South Africa. The book discusses the paradoxes of the region and the violent fight for freedom that mobilized intellectual forces, both black and white, while also painting a vivid portrait of South Africa’s music, dance and landscape.

  • Julie Vandal is a graduate of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (IEP) of Bordeaux. She started her career in journalism as an editor with the cultural department of regional daily newspaper “La Marseillaise” in France. As a freelance journalist, she then moved to West Africa, which she has been crisscrossing for eight years. After four years in Dakar, Senegal, where she covered the sub-region’s news for several French-speaking radio stations and newspapers, she moved to Lagos, Nigeria in January 2010 as a correspondent with Radio France International, RFI’s French language service. She was appointed Head of RFI Hausa in May 2012 till October 2017. She is now working in Paris as a reporter for RFI African Department.


Time Event
3.00pm to 3.10pm Saniye Gülser Corat, UNESCO. Opening and welcoming remarks about the role of gender in combating violent extremism.
3.10pm to 3.15pm Beth Mendelson, senior executive producer, Voice of America. Introductoin to her documentary film, "Boko Haram: Journey from Evil".
3.15pm to 4.10pm Projection of documentary film, "Boko Haram: Journey from Evil".
4.10pm to 5.00pm Panel discussion

Moderator: Chris Hegadorn, Chargé d’affaires, U.S. Mission to UNESCO

  • Beth Mendelson, Senior Executive Producer, Voice of America
  • Vivienne Walt, TIME Magazine foreign correspondent
  • Jean Christophe Servant, contributor to Le Monde Diplomatique and an expert on Boko Haram
  • Ms Julie Vandal, reporter, RFI African Department
5.00pm to 5.15pm Q&A Session