Listen to Chelsea’s story: In her own words
February 15, 2016 by the Chelsea Manning Support Network
Chelsea Manning was the subject of the second episode of Amnesty International’s podcast In Their Own Words, a brand new series featuring the stories of human rights activists around the world.
One of the most trying aspects of Chelsea’s imprisonment has been the inability for the public to hear or see her; prison restrictions do not allow any kind of photographs, visual or audio recordings. The most recent photo we even have of Chelsea was taken by the prison in February of last year, and Chelsea had to file a Freedom of Information Act request to even receive it!
And yet, our voices and our image have always been an integral part of our identity. Our humanity. Chelsea has said, “I feel like I’ve been stored away all this time without a voice.”
In this episode, Amnesty finally gives Chelsea a voice, for the first time in years, employing actress Michelle Hendley to speak and breath new life into Chelsea’s words. Through Michelle, we finally hear Chelsea tell us who she is as a person, what she’s been through, and what she’s going through now.
“I have to say, I cried a few times listening to this,” said Chelsea, after a Support Network volunteer played the podcast for her over the telephone. “Hearing her speak, and tell the story. She sounds like me. It sounds like the way I would tell my story.”
Since its release on Feb 5, the podcast has already been listened to over 10,000 times, passing up Amnesty’s first episode voiced by actor Christian Bale by over 4,000 listens. It received attention from Vice’s Broadley, BoingBoing, Pink News, Fight for the Future, the ACLU, the Advocate and numerous other online blogs and tweets.
Read the full transcript here:
Special thanks to Aaron Swartz Day and International Hackathon for the transcript.