What is a testimony

A testimony is:

  • A statement by a person who has or will be affected by a project conducted by either the state or a transnational company.
  • A statement from a person who has been or will be affected materially, physically or emotionally/psychologically.
    • Materially means that they have lost property such as land, house, access to water or access to other basic needs according to the local and national customs. Loss of goods in the future (when a project starts) is also classified as material damage.
    • Physically means that the person has been affected by the project in such a way that they received a bodily injury. They could have been beaten up by the police when protecting their property or demonstrating against a project. Alternatively they could have been injured while working for a project because of neglect by the state or companies.
    • Emotionally/psychologically means that the person is affected by the project in such a way that their emotional or psychological make-up has been damaged. Most projects promise jobs for example but perhaps they have failed to materialise, disappointing potential workers. Perhaps people have been treated disrespectfully even though they received some compensation. Perhaps their land has been crossed without an official request.
  • A personal account by a person or people directly affected. In some cases the stories of other people the interviewee knows of might be the only testimonies which you will be able to obtain. Interview these people for the future but they are less powerful than first person accounts.
  • Not an account from a community leader representing victims of a project or a campaign active against a project. You might want to interview the community leader for future purposes but as a testimony this is not as powerful as a personal statement.

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