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Ben Affleck Launches Humanitarian Effort at U.N.
Dikembe Mutombo Ben Affleck James Nachtwey
Dikembe Mutombo
Ben Affleck
Photographer James Nachtwey

New York, December 17, 2008 – Ben Affleck was at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday to unveil his newest directorial project, a short film called Gimme Shelter.  Intended to raise money and humanitarian assistance for people displaced by fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Affleck joked that perhaps they should recruit an attractive actress to draw attention to the cause.  (Many famous actresses, including Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, and Drew Barrymore are U.N. ambassadors for various causes.) 

But Affleck spoke passionately about the devastation in the Congo, and said he was humbled to be speaking before people to whom he normally listens.  The audience included famed photographer James Nachtwey, whose 2006 book, Forgotten War, documented the African nation’s crisis; Congolese-born NBA star and humanitarian Dikembe Mutombo, and Rose Mapendo, a genocide survivor turned activist. 

 
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