Actress Ashley Judd, best known for her roles in films such as Double Jeopardy as well as the role of daughter to legendary country singer Naomi Judd, just released a video of her recent trip to the eastern Congo.
She traveled there with John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, to raise awareness of how the global trade in conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold) fuels the rape and abuse of Congolese women. The trip was part of the Enough Projects campaign, RAISE Hope for Congo, which aims to raise awareness about this issue, and build a strong constituency of activists who will advocate for the protection and empowerment of these women.
The video, filmed in the Bibatama Mine in the eastern Congo, features Judd saying, “The Senator is very proud of his mining operation and his assertion that it is entirely conflict free, and that no human rights abuses or any labor or sex exploitation happens at this mine.”
While title cards reveal to the viewer that although the mine is “conflict free,” typically these operations use mass rape as a means of controlling the Congolose population.
In addition, Judd wrote a diary detailing her feelings about conflict minerals and how their use and necessity are unavoidable in our culture— as most of these minerals are key elements to electronics like the iPod and MacBook Air. She wrote, “I am financing mass rape as I enjoy these ridiculously Global North ultra-efficiencies and conveniences, for large scale rape is the preferred predation mining interests use to humiliate and terrify local populations, in order to control resource areas. The UN notes that virtually every mine in DRC is militarized. This means little to no tin, tantalum, and tungsten is mined free of brutal exploitation, extortion, violence, rape, rape, rape.”