Support Indigenous Voices
Kantza is a collaborative film project between the Shuar people, indigenous to the Ecuadorian Amazon, and Amazon Voice - a group dedicated to providing the Shuar with the skills to express themselves through media.
As the project's impressive Kickstarter video mentions, "the number one contributor to the success of any humanitarian or environmental movement is the ability of grassroots actors to organize and communicate with the global community." Supporting the Shuar people to communicate their own ideas, culture and experience on their own terms (rather than through foreign academics and 'experts') enables them to have a direct and effective voice to relate their struggle in protecting their environment and livelihoods from the destructive influence of corporations and oil companies.
Together, the Shuar and Amazon Voice hope to raise $15,000. This money will go towards creating a short film based on Shuar mythology, providing professional audio and video equipment, along with the necessary professional training for the Shuar to run a solar-powered media center in the Tawasap community. The Tawasap Chief's vision is for the media center to be a hub for collaborative projects with neighboring tribes, that will serve to communicate indigenous values and worldviews to the developed world. Situated among 250,000 hectares of unspoiled rainforest targeted for mining, the Tawasap community and 25 other villages in the region could benefit hugely from international support for their cause.
The short film version of Kantza will be the first creative film produced by the Shuar. Additional funds from this project will go towards expanding the film to create a final, feature-length version.
In the words of the Tawasap Chief himself, "We do not need or want advanced technological gear or systems to do science fiction movies. Our only true desire is to be able to develop grounded projects, real to this earth, to strengthen our culture and our Shuar communities, as well as other communities as much as possible.
We want to tell the world that the flora and fauna are priority."
Image by Neil Palmer (CIAT) on Flickr, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.Tweet