About

The five Ws: What, why 

One country, two borders, a war that has lasted three years. 

More than ten thousand dead, more than fifteen thousand injured, 18 million people without food, 8 million and a half already at risk of starvation. Yemen is a country under siege and its tragedy is unknown. This conflict is poorly told and poorly represented in media because Yemen is almost inaccessible. It was a "secret" country before. It is – even more – a secret country now.

How do the the inhabitants of Yemen live and in the war? How do we overcome daily hardships, from the difficulty of obtaining food to the impossibility of purifying water, from the rush to supply diesel to the leavening of bread, from the exchange of currency to the black market to hospitalization for chronic diseases in hospital? How is the life of teacher, or of a doctor or nurse, who gets up very early every day to go to work without receiving a salary for months, and the daily struggle of a widow with five children? And how different - if it is - is life from the North to the South of the country? 

We will show you "Yemen, the secret country", in an interactive web-doc totally realized on the field: a month of travel, seven cities, an Italian-Yemeni reporter.

The five Ws : Who

Laura Silvia Battaglia is a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker, born in Catania. She lived between Milan and Sana'a (Yemen) from 2012 to 2015. She’s one of the very few International journalists who is able to get into Yemen more then twice during the ongoing conflict, reporting from there. She started working in 1998 for the newspaper La Sicilia di Catania. Since 2007 she has dedicated herself in covering conflicts in the Middle and Near East for international media (TRT World, Index on censorship, The Week, RSI - Swiss public service, The new Arab) and national (Avvenire, La Stampa, D-the Republic of Women, Panorama , Tg3 World Agenda, Radio Tre Mondo). At TV2000 she broadcast a program about Panarab tvs called Cous Cous tv. She is radio host at Rai Radio Tre. She has made nine documentaries and she won the awards Luchetta, Siani, Cutuli, Anello Debole, Journalists of the Mediterranean Sea. She teaches journalism at Catholic University of Milan and Islamic Civilizations at the Nicolò Cusano University of Rome. She has published the e-book Letters from Guantanamo and the graphic novel The Yemeni bride. 


The five Ws: Where, when, how 

When - Between October and November, entering from one of the land borders and traveling trough the country. 

How - A trip on public transports traveling like a Yemeni citizen.

Why should you crowdfund us? 

Because a web-doc platform is a participatory project and because the world wants to know the life in war of the Yemeni people, unjustly forgotten. Because the web-doc will be interactive. Because you can also ask us to tell a story about you would like to know more. Because the journey is long and difficult and costs a huge economic effort. 

Travel with us, support us: discover with us "The secret Yemen"

Risks and challenges

This project is subject to the difficulties I will face on the ground. The access to the country is extremely difficult, but the first step has already been overcome. The next one will concern the passage to different ceck points and the access to the most inaccessible areas of the country.

How will we manage to complete it? Yemen is our country, a place that we know well, having lived there for long periods in the past years. An environment that, for those who also have tribal ties, is much easier to deal with than may you think.

The web-doc project "Yemen, the secret country" has already a platform on line. It's not active but ready to be. It will use all the video and photographic materials collected in recent years, all the stories that I couldn't tell before and all those that I will have to tell by meeting new people. It's a very expensive project that will involve video, audio, pictures, texts, graphics and drawings as well.

This project is a worth-running-necessary-risk: the war in Yemen is the most neglected and untold war in the world since 2015. It needs to find witnesses.

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    Pledge €10 or more About $11

    "Yemen, the secret country" postcard

    The graphic novelist Paola Cannatella will draw for you an episode of this journey

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    Pledge €30 or more About $34

    E-drawing "Yemen, the secret country"

    Designed by Paola Cannatella, this short digital graphic novel will tell a medium episode of this secret journey inside Yemen

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    Pledge €50 or more About $57

    Spices "Yemen, the secret country"

    We will provide for you rare Yemeni spices (cinnamon, nigella sativa black seeds), including the legendary Mocha coffee

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    Pledge €100 or more About $113

    Textiles "Yemen, the secret country"

    We will provide for you rare Yemeni textiles for your Christmas table. Colours: black, red and gold

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    About $113
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