photography, film & performance - concept & innovation -
creative software for business & the arts - research, development & education
Feb 13-16 2014 LONDON, UK
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The Calanoa Amazonas Nature Reserve is the home base for the YACARE Riverboat project. (yah-KAH-ray)
The Yacaré functions as a free library-boat and project resource for local indigenous communities along the river, serving to support education, conservation, health initiatives, preservation of indigenous knowledge & culture, and to promote education about sustainable living in the Amazon region. Initially, the project will be servicing 6 indigenous communities that are under the area of influence of the Amacayacu National Park, in the Colombian Amazon, with a population of around 3,000 people.
Calanoa Amazonas has a strong focus on the arts as a way to engage and promote conservation concepts to local people and visiting supporters of the reserve. The boat will also bring local performances and art projects between the communities.The communities will be further supported by volunteer artists visiting on the Yacaré, to teach the skills for villagers to produce their own video and audio recordings to add to the library-boat materials. In this way local knowledge, culture, language and issues will be shared with neighbouring village communities. The Calanoa Amazonas Nature Reserve has charitable status in Colombia and is run by its founders, Diego and Marlene Samper. The reserve employs local people from the neighbouring Mocagua village, predominantly of the Ticuna tribe, along with some people of the Huitoto tribe.
The first inventory of library books are to be supplied by the Biblioteca del Banco de la República, based in the Colombian river port town of Leticia, as well as from private donations. In addition to books, Yacaré will be equipped with a video projector and a collection of films and documentaries, and a music collection. Content will have an emphasis on aboriginal and environmental issues from the Amazon region, to contribute to the strengthening of cultural identity and awareness of regional issues. It will include also materials about aboriginal and environmental issues from around the world.
The Yacaré will be equipped with a basic documentary video camera film kit, an on-board video editing system and a rooftop portable projection screen. Local people have requested lessons in computer, video and photography skills, which can help them to better protect themselves and their communities from exploitation and to create their own presence on the internet. (see link below about a Brasilian tribe on the internet). Solar panels on the roof of the Yacare will help to supply power for the boat's video equipment and battery recharging center.
Building of the boat is scheduled for November 2012, at Calanoa Amazonas, with skilled native boat builders from neighbouring Mocagua village.
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My own role in the project is as a volunteer consultant for mediaequipment (video, photography and audio) and to assist with and provide instruction & training in local communities on using the video resources for self-documentation and indigenous media-art and photography projects. My personal goal is to empower local people in the region with the skills to use video and photography as their own tool for education, conservation and activism.
LINKS OF INTEREST
Ashaninka Tribal Photography (Peru) The Asháninka aim is to develop the use of photography over the next few years an educational and advocacy tool to catalog and archive the Asháninka environment, culture and lifestyle; to document projects of combined economic activities with the controlled use of natural resources, so as to preserve their culture and their territory and have a say in the conservation of their lands.
MARANGMOTXÍNGMO MÏRANG, From the Ikpeng children to the world (Brasil)
The Internet Indians a 47 minute film by Ilka Franzmann, a project in Brasil that funded a small Ashaninka tribal community with internet technology in order to help them fight against aggressive logging pirates. 6 minute excerpt
Kichwa Community from Sarayaku in Ecuador make their own film to fight government backed mineral exploitation of their homeland.
Developing Minds Book Project (Colombia 2008) A project to bring books to isolated villages in the mountains of Colombia.
You may also like to visit www.amazonwatch.org or the links below for more information on Amazon conservation and activism projects.