This section aims to showcase interesting and recent posts in Global Voices that show the many ways in which videos are helping people tell stories all around the world. You can follow the activity by regions in our YouTube channel.
Advocacy through video
Several stories this month have focused on how video is enabling communities to get their message across to a wider audience.
Intercontinental Cry posted a list of 12 recommended films on indigenous issues, some made by indigenous people from Brazil, Australia, Panama, USA, Northern Kenya, Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
KOMAS is an organization which hosts a yearly documentary video competition and festival in Malaysia. One of the 2011 winners of the documentary competition include Afiq Deen, who directed Huruf J, a short documentary on the hardships and discrimination faced by divorcees in Malaysia. A society that sets them apart for their condition, debt, poverty and a legal system which is unable to enforce fathers’ financial obligations with their children are some of the hurdles these women have to face when trying to move on with their lives. The film includes some subtitles and audio in English.
A video letter from a woman in West Papua to an Indonesian soldier echoes the stories of many other women in the area. In this case, she asks the soldier, who was once based in her village, to please write and return to meet his daughter. It can be viewed with subtitles here.
This short video shows some of the environmental and social impact the Ukhaa Khudag coal mine in Mongolia's south Gobi desert is already having on the communities and the people who have lost their livelihoods due to the mines.
Vladlena Martsynkevych, Bankwatch's Central Asia Officer addressed this controversial topic and its social and economical cost:
The extractive industry can very well contribute to a country’s economic development and bring desired employment and revenues. At the same time mining is a highly disruptive activity with considerable negative impacts on the environment and the livelihoods of local communities. In countries with underdeveloped democratic structures, lack of institutional capacity or simply corruption, the damages can quickly overweigh. Benefits can then bypass the local level and end up enriching the involved companies and – not least – the technological progress and wealth in developed nations.
El Cafe Cubano reported that residents who live close to the Basilica of the Patron Saint of Cuba, a destination that is on Pope Benedict XVI's itinerary when he visits Cuba next month, are being evicted in en effort to “[cover] up the prevailing misery that the Cuban people are suffering in the island.”
The first female indigenous leader of the Ngobe Bugle people in Panama has become a media sensation after standing up to the government and demanding their rights to be respected.
In the midst of all of this crisis, one name has emerged as the standard bearer for the indigenous fight. The cacique [Taíno word meaning tribal leader or chief] Silvia Carrera who, after becoming the first woman to be elected to this position, has risen up in opposition to the current government's mining plans.
The following video by Orgun Wagua, uploaded to YouTube by laoruguitaecoloca [es] on February 4, shows the cacique spearheading attempts to start a dialog during the conflict:
The fifth Marrabenta Festival has spread some cheer in Mozambique. One of the highlights seems to be the acoustic musical train trip to Marracuene, leading revelers for free to the all night outdoor concert that marks the Festival's finale. The following video takes us to this lively train full of song and music: