Exploring the Intersection of Energy and Peace-building through Film (2013-2014)

What lessons can be learned about the role of energy resources in postconflict regions, and how can they be used to promote peace?

Using over a decade’s worth of postconflict environmental assessment film from the United Nations Environment Programme, team members explored the role of oil in Nigeria, hydropower in Afghanistan and charcoal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Team members catalogued and described nearly 100 hours of digitized footage, created two short films (oil pollution in Nigeria, deforestation and livelihoods in the DRC) for UNEP outreach and Duke instruction and partnered with United Nations staff to produce film-based outreach and training materials for conflict-reduction, energy resource management and environmental management.

The project was based in the BorderWork(s) Lab at the Franklin Humanities Institute.



Team Outcomes

Exploring Livelihoods in the DRC (video)

Crude Oil (video)

What Do You See? (brochure)

Exploring the Intersection of Energy and Peace-Building through Film (video)

Critical Analysis of the Efficacy of Task-Shifting in Two Post-Earthquake Humanitarian Crisis Sites: Haiti and Nepal (Elle Caroline Gault, honors thesis for graduation with distinction in Global Health)

Women’s Land Rights and Empowerment: Impact of the Land Tenure Regularization Reform (LTR) on Contraceptive Use and Domestic Violence in Rwanda (Winnie Biwott, honors thesis for graduation with distinction in Economics)

Erika Weinthal, UNEP-PCDMB ($6,000 grant awarded from the United Nations Environment Programme, 2013)


Xiao Recio-Blanco

Meghan O'Neil

Leo Lou

Winnie Biwott

Yi Ying Teh

Sophia Sennett

Telling (and Showing) the Role of Energy Resources in Peacebuilding (Meghan O'Neil)

This Team in the News

Short Films Examine the Complex Role of Energy Resources in the Aftermath of Conflict

Energy Research Workshop 2014: Bass Connections in Energy Projects

Analyzing an Array of Visual Storytelling Techniques

Building a Stronger Message by Talking with Our Audience

The Paradox of Framing Issues

The Eye of the Camera, the Empathy of Film

Telling (and Showing) the Role of Energy Resources in Peacebuilding

Distinctive Global Health Grads (Elle Gault)

Team Leaders

  • Elizabeth Milewicz, Duke Libraries
  • Erika Weinthal, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy

/graduate Team Members

  • Alexandra Blair, Master of Environmental Management, Energy and Environment
  • Aaron Kutnick, MFA/Experimental and Doc Arts
  • Apple Loveless, Master of Environmental Management, Water Resources Management
  • Evelyn Lowrey, MFA/Experimental and Doc Arts
  • Meghan O'Neil, English-PHD
  • Xiao Recio-Blanco, Doctor of Juridical Science

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Winnie Biwott, Economics (BS), Environmental Sci/Policy (AB2)
  • Elle Gault, Public Policy Studies (AB), Global Health (AB2)
  • Chen Lou, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Jayda Rodriguez, Environmental Sciences (BS)
  • Sophia Sennett, Visual and Media Studies (AB)
  • Jennifer Skerritt, Chemistry (BS)
  • Yi Ying Teh, Environmental Sci/Policy (AB), Public Policy Studies (AB2)

/zcommunity Team Members

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)