Jürg Brandenberger is a reporter and video journalist for the political programme "Rundschau". He was inspired by the intrepid and unwavering commitment of ICRC delegate Abraham Doblado in Colombia. He met the Geneva-born Doblado in a remote jungle region in the department of Chocó, accompanied him on risky missions into rebel territory, and highlighted the importance of contact with all parties in a conflict for Abraham and his team.
"In this corner of the earth, there are no laws that the civilian population in a conflict area can turn to. War rules here, and might makes right. So the value of the ICRC's involvement there is extremely clear."
Niccolò Castelli works as a freelance photographer and video journalist for Italian-speaking Swiss radio and television RSI. Niccolò visited the orthopaedic centre in Kabul on several occasions. He was touched time and again by stories of patients for whom prosthetics means a new outlook on life. Niccolò accompanied the head of the orthopaedic centre– Najmuddin – on his rounds. Thanks to the trust he developed, he was also able provide amazing insights into the daily lives of Afghan families in the midst of a war.
"Afghanistan has been the "corridor of the world" for centuries and only by going there did I begin to understand what "different" really means. I was privileged, I was able to enter their homes, to spend entire days observing men and women who have been victims of 30 years of war while new arms and legs were being prepared for people who, like them, lost their limbs because of one of those countless landmines strewn across the land; and I listened to the simple words of those who seek a future for their country in harmony with tradition and modernity. I got to know diversity there, and felt the need to get to know it better, to share in its contrasts – both the cruel and the splendid. And that diversity was an incredible opportunity."
Gaspard Lamunière is a veteran reporter, writer and producer of documentary films at RTS. He accompanied Stéphanie Eller during ICRC training in Geneva. In Tel Aviv, with camerawoman Eliane Ruckstuhl, he was on hand when the hostage-taking of Red Cross workers in Syria was announced. In the Gaza strip, inhabitants of the region told him about the difficulties they have faced for decades in the occupied territory. Gaspard also accompanied ICRC president Peter Maurer on several different occasions in Switzerland.
"As a specialist in closed-door diplomacy, and hence without witnesses, the ICRC is not used to having cameras around. In this series we nevertheless succeeded in capturing a significant and interesting area of its activities that is new to viewers."
Dem. Rep. of Congo
Christoph Müller headed the documentary film office at SRF until 2012. For the ICRC project, as an expert on Africa he made several trips to crisis-ridden Democratic Republic of Congo. As a video journalist he followed ICRC president Peter Maurer on a diplomatic mission. In Kinshasa, he showed how important it is for the ICRC to have contact with high-level politicians. In the eastern province of Goma, he witnessed first-hand the suffering population. The disturbing fate of children who have been made orphans by the war or the efforts to return child soldiers to society have had a lasting impact on him.
"In eastern Congo, where a war economy has developed for the past twenty years, women and children are suffering the most, despite major efforts by the UN and aid agencies around the world. It's a depressing situation!"
Lisa Röösli is a producer and writer for the SRF programme "Kulturplatz". The video journalist filmed the Lausanne native Stéphanie Eller in Israel. Filming was often a challenge, as both parties in the conflict have many security regulations and requirements. Lisa was particularly impressed by Stéphanie's dedication, as she undertook her first mission with great enthusiasm.
"Israel is one of the ICRC's oldest delegations. The conflict seems to have reached deadlock, the parties involved routinely set out their positions, and the daily work processes have become institutionalized. For decades, ICRC staff have been coming here in a steady stream but nobody feels as though they can make much of a difference. This makes Stéphanie Eller's commitment to the task at hand even more admirable. For a young newcomer, this environment is a huge challenge."
Elvira Stadelmann is an experienced producer, reporter and author who works in SRF's DOK department. In her capacity as producer, she has been managing the project for over eighteen months. This has involved negotiating with the ICRC, coordinating and planning shoots with journalists, creating the concept for the series and being responsible for content.
Working over several months with Angelo Prinz, one of the most distinguished documentary series editors, she has assembled the journalists' rough cuts to form six episodes.
"This extremely time-consuming and sensitive project was an entirely new experience. We have rarely had to overcome so many difficulties and seldom have people's stories touched us so profoundly."