September 8th is a global day to rise for climate action. Activities and demonstrations are planned in more than 70 countries to end the era of fossel fuels and building 100% renewable energy for all. In Germany alone, more than 25 events are planned.
Also here on the Marshall Islands and other Pacific Islands, they are preparing for the 8th of September. Under the slogan #RiseForClimate and #RiseForPacificPawa (“Pawa” – Pidgin English for “Power”), the many small island states unite to support each other, letting the world know: we are not drowning, we are fighting. They fight for the protection of the climate, for the survival of their islands and for their cultural identity. We filmed the preparatory meeting of the environmental organization Jo-Jikum, which is our local partner and part of the global climate movement 350.org. This year’s campaign symbol is Kikonang, a sort of palm leaf windmill. It stands for movement, for renewable energy such as wind and solar energy, for the arts and crafts, which has an important cultural significance here and many reminds them of their childhood, as it is a popular toy on the island states. It is important to tackle the climate crisis globally. There is no industry in the Marshall Islands, and people are the least polluting people due to greenhouse gas emissions. But they are at the frontlines to be affected by the impacts of climate change.
With our workshops, we always make small trips. The voyage told below in the video leads us to the island of Kolol En. We accompanied Jina David, an environmental activist and Councilmen. Together with a group of young people, Jina tested the water quality in the island’s rain reservoirs and at the same time taught the young people how to provide clean water in the future. Jina’s project was made possible by Jo-Jikum and KIO.
Once a year, there is a Marshallese film festival on Majuro. Among the thirteen submissions this year was a short film about “Happiness”, which the young people created from our workshop in Laura. Although it won no prize in the end, it got a thunderous applause from the audience. Here it is. “Happiness” from Laura Highschool Media Team.
For a week, our team member Christina Schulze accompanied a research team led by the Marshallese scientist Mark Stege in their work on the Maloelap Atoll. From this week she brought you a little movie titled “Stewards of the Environment”, which already gives you some of the narrative style and moods of our future movie.
And 13,070 kilometers away from the Maloelap Atoll, the Potsdam (Germany) based musician Marc Schicker composed the music for her video while watching it. Have fun watching and listening.
Since fourteen months the workers of the local radio station ERA on the island of Zakinthos have occupied their station. After the TV and radio stations of the former Greek state broadcaster ERT started to become a major protagonists of the public criticism of the Troika and the Greek government policies, the Greek government decided to close down the stations. di più
7/28/2013: This week Sachamanta will be screened by a television broadcasting station for the first time. On Thursday August 1st 2013 6pm and on Friday August 2nd 2.30am the Greek public TV station ERT-Open – currently occupied by its workers – will screen our documentary Sachamanta with Greek subtitles. di più
“Un’ulteriore menzione speciale viene assegnata a Sachamanta di Viviana Uriona con la seguente motivazione: Per aver contribuito, con una adesione forte ed appassionata, a dare visibilità alla resistenza contadina argentina, documentando, con la partecipazione alle riprese dei membri delle radio comunitarie campesine, una lotta colpevolmente censurata dai principali media mainstream.” di più
23/03/2013 : Germany is not a country. It is a puzzle of many worlds. Some fight for a base salary. Others fight boredom. Refugees are freezing in Berlin. Around the corner a design award is presented over champagne and caviar. The stocks are falling. Rents are going up. In Bochum Opel is shutting down. Open is the future. di più
13/2/2013: Ogni spazio comune, ogni aula-seminari, ogni classe, ogni centro giovanile, può tramutarsi in un cinema. Se volete proiettare il film durante un incontro pubblico, procuratevi solo un proiettore e un telo o uno schermo, e scriveteci una mail a email@example.com. di più
1/27/2013: About four weeks the Kameradists were traveling in Argentina to bring back to the Campesinos their own cinematic history (Sachamanta) as well as the reactions of the german audience on this story. We were accompanied by the support of hundreds of people at home. When we sat between fireflies and stars in the summer night heat and watched Sachamanta with the campesinos, we have often thought of you. Without you People, without your immaterial support and your donations, without your help and your advice this new filming would not have happened.
Now we got 20 hours of footage for “Espejo” in the box. We will now dig through it and sift and cut. Three things are already certain by now.
In the film you will see what we have hoped to find: the reactions of the campesinos to your letters and questions are touching.
New impressive stuff is happening in Santiago del Estero. Close to the fifth radio station in Ojo de Agua a large new building grows out of the bushland. The campesinos have begun to build their own university. On the curriculum is a future without exploitation and a life in freedom and dignity.
Perhaps “Espejo” will not be named “Espejo”. At the radio station “Fm Sacha Huayra” in Tintina DJ Coqui asked his listeners what ideas they would have for the title of the new film, and there have been many proposals in the indigenous Quechua language.
Some photos and stories along the filming are already online. Kameradist Wagner has released new posts on his photo blog. This link leads to the first post. The arrows on the right side of the images carry forward through the story.
Nord dell’Argentina, nel 2000: durante un congresso, le comunità contadine e indigene organizzate nel Movimiento Campesino Santiago del Estero (MoCaSe Via Campesina) prendono una decisione inaudita: costruiranno e gestiranno le proprie stazioni radio. di più
5/22/2012: Region of Santiago del Estero, April, a summer night in 2010: I saw the courageous people dancing. They danced to their favorite music from their radios. Bare feet swirling dust. Hands find hands. Lights flash through the darkness. I thought that people always change the place in which they dance. They take over this place. A dry lawn can be a ballroom, nine boards can be a stage. I thought that people also change the places in which they work. A barren wasteland can turn into a field. A swamp turns into rich soil.. They put sweat equity into their own homes, which may not be taken from them. Today they dance. Tomorrow they’ll fight.
For over 20 years the peasant and indigenous communities in the region of Santiago del Estero fight against land theft and disenfranchisement. When the big companies steal someone’s land, they all gather together to break down the newly erected fence. If one of them is locked up in jail, their fellow campesinos all come at once, demanding their companiero’s release. The struggle of the campesinos is bearing fruit. Through their perseverance, they have become a force in the country – a powerful force with five voices: five rural radio stations that allow the uncensored exchange of news over the vastness of the country. The radio stations provide a sense of community and of course they also broadcast the music that the campesinos love.
When I saw the brave people dancing, laughing and kissing, I thought to myself about how it is about the same questions, all over the world. Why is the law not on the side of the dancers? Why doesn’t that dance floor belong to those who improvised it? Why do the fields not belong to those who sow them? Why are the banks of the West bursting with the wealth others created?
For over twenty years, the peasants and indigenous peoples of the region of Santiago del Estero not only know the answer to these questions but live that answer on a daily basis. The answer is: There is has never been justice unless it has been fought for. The people in the region of Santiago del Estero have not only changed places, but transformed themselves in their struggle. Out of despondency grew courage. Fear turned into hope. Justice was no longer just a dream, but an endeavor.
The documentary Sachamanta tells a story of the fulfillment of this task. The film will be presented at numerous festivals, distributed on DVD, and shown, last but not least, in Northern Argentina. The trailer can be seen here.