International Film Fest Sheds Light on Extractive Industries
October 18, 2011 | One Comment
By Paul Hendricks, Donor Advised Fund Coordinator
The impact of extractive industries and other large-scale development projects can be devastating for indigenous communities in Latin America and around the globe. These industries—mining, oil extraction, agribusiness, logging, and large-scale fishing operations—can wreak havoc on the environment, displace communities and divide allegiances. They have even led to violent social conflicts. Often, these projects end up in the backyards of rural and indigenous communities, which typically do not reap any of their economic benefits. Additionally, the lack of transparency and prior consultation by large companies and some governments further separates communities from any form of public participation or ability to exercise their rights.
Exposing Extractive Industries in South America
Over the past several months, Global Greengrants Fund has channeled a number of small grants to South America to fund a cutting-edge international film fest focused on extractive industries and their impacts. The film fest is taking place in October in 4 countries: Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay, entitled “Desde Adentro” (“From Within”) in Peru, and “Extracción de Derechos” (“Extraction of Rights”) in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.
Our Andes and Southern Cone Boards, along with the South American Regional Fund, have worked together to sponsor the film fest by funding the following partner organizations in each country and teaming up with Amnesty International chapters to plan and execute the festivals:
- Guarango Producciones (Peru)
- Mapuexpress (Chile)
- Casa Bertold Brecht (Uruguay)
- Taller Ecologista (Argentina)
Each city will screen 18 different documentary films, 15 of which will be the same in each location. Many of the films highlight Global Greengrants Fund grantees and their struggles against extractive industries. Others were filmed by organizations whose film production was funded through seed money provided by Global Greengrants Fund over the years.
One such movie, Tambogrande: Mangos, Muerte, Minería (Tambogrande: Mangos, Death, Mining), was produced by Global Greengrants Fund grantee Asociación Guarango Cine y Video. It features the struggle of the Tambogrande community as they deal with the fallout of mining projects in their land. Global Greengrants Fund also supported another Tambogrande organization, called Asociación Ecologista Trópico Seco, who worked with local communities to develop sustainable sources of income as alternatives to the limited royalties they received from mining operations.
The goal of the festival is to address the problems associated with extractive industries on local populations. While having a vast amount of “riches” in their land, these people often witness wealth leaving their communities in exchange for environmental degradation and human rights abuses. At times faced with insurmountable opposition from multinational corporations, local communities struggle to create a space where their voices can be heard and justice restored.
Creating a Dialogue
Reports from the field so far have been very positive. As the film festivals in both Rosario and Buenos Aires (Argentina) have wrapped up and the others continue on into next week, the event planners are excited about the level of engagement in the film screenings as well as the round table discussions that followed.
Through these events, organizers hope that they might strengthen the capacity of activists in the area, create a space for those affected to have a stronger voice, and garner support for the work of mitigating the negative effects of extractive projects.
Thank you to all of those who not only have assembled this event and supported it through donations, but also to those who are on the front lines defending the rights of those affected by extractive projects.
For more information about this film fest and the groups that have organized it, visit: http://www.amnistia.org.pe/2011/09/22/desdeadentro/.