Profile: Kelly Matheson

By Brittney Cooper, March 23, 2021
Brittney Cooper (They/She), Cinema and Photography B.S. '23

Blog posting written by Brittney Cooper (They/She), Cinema and Photography with Minors in Gender Studies and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, '23, FLEFF Intern, Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania

After four hours of meetings and placing an order for delivery, Kelly Matheson logged onto zoom once again to join me for an interview. Despite being hours apart the time zones worked perfect for us. Matheson was entering into the evening as I was beginning my afternoon when I asked Matheson about Witness, the organization she is a associate director of.

Witness, as a human right organization, helps “human rights defenders use video and technology to protect and defend human rights.” The organization teaches people how to safety and legally gather footage that could later be used in court. 

Currently, Matheson works with the people of Guinea and the struggle against the strip mine. Matheson explains the damaged the strip mine does to sick miner who have no hospital, and therefore, the reason Guinea would benefit from the assistance of Witness through the use of legal filming. 

Matheson then continues on to speak on the effect Covid had in Guinea and how they had to adapt to the new environment. “We used to do a lot of work on the ground . . . we clearly can’t do that anymore . . . we were already working on the best way to make sure that the resources were accessible.”

Before Kelly Matheson went to enjoy her delivery, I asked if she had any words she wanted to say before leaving. Matheson told me that she appreciated that FLEFF brought together “conversations that happen around environments and human rights,” and that she wants to thank FLEFF for “making it possible to have these conversations.”