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Utrecht Centre for International Studies


19 September 2017
19:15 - 20:45
Janskerkhof 2-3, Room 0.13

UGlobe presents: documentary No Place for a Rebel with a Q&A with the directors


19.15     Doors open

19.30     Start screening No Place for a Rebel

20.45    Q&A with directors moderated by Lauren Gould

After the screening there will be a Q&A with directors Maartje Wegdam and Ariadne Asimakopoulos, moderated by Lauren Gould. Together with the audience they will reflect on the issues touched upon in the film From an interdisciplinary perspective. What are the dilemma’s of post-conflict justice? And how do they impact on the process of building peace? What are the implications for doing justice when the line between victims and perpetrators, like in the situation of child soldiers, is blurred? The directors will also share their experiences of making this film and of course answer all your questions.

Synopsis No Place for a Rebel

Sixteen years after rebels abducted him as a child, Opono Opondo returns home to Uganda as an adult war commander. Now he has to readapt to civil society.

Opono grew up to become a war commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army of Joseph Kony. Sixteen years after his abduction by the rebels, Opono must fight for acceptance back home, in a place where he doesn’t know the codes and conventions. The film shows Opono’s fight for his future, while struggling to come to terms with his past and to reconcile with his family.

One day Opono’s former comrade, LRA top commander Dominic Ongwen, is captured and taken to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Ongwen is charged with seventy counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Questions of accountability start to dominate Opono’s thoughts. Suddenly he gets an opportunity. Opono makes an important decision to save his future.


No Place for a Rebel bears witness to the grim reality of a former rebel who tries to break the mold after his return to civil society. The film is an intimate account, a journey into Opono’s world, complicated by the trauma that comes as much from being silenced in the present as from a life shattered by violence. Yet above all, the film shows the courageous attempt of a human being to re-shape his fate.

Biographies directors

Ariadne Asimakopoulos (1984), researcher, director, sound, has a background in Conflict Studies and Human Rights (MA, UU). In 2010 she conducted research in northern Uganda on reintegration and justice in the case of former child soldiers, who grow up to be both victim and perpetrators of atrocities. This research laid the foundation for No Place for a Rebel. As a social entrepreneur in the field of youth, peace and security she worked for Dutch peace organisations Upact and PAX for peace, where she coordinated grassroots projects that aim to involve young activists in peacebuilding using innovative approaches and design thinking principles, and advocates at the UN for the participation of young people in peace and security issues.

Maartje Wegdam (1982), director, photography, started working as director and camerawoman for documentaries after graduating from Documentary Media Studies at The New School University (NYC). In 2014 she filmed for The Abominable Crime, awarded with the first Amnesty International Human Rights Prize at trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff). Maartje previously studied News and Information and International Relations at the University of Amsterdam (MSc) and worked as a camera journalist for Dutch public broadcasting corporations. She teaches part time at Communication & Multimedia Design at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht.