Indigenous Voices on Climate Change Film Festival

As a part of our contribution to a robust discussion at the COP15 climate negotiations in Copenhagen, the United Nations University has been working hard with partners to organize the Indigenous Voices on Climate Change film festival at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen (4pm-6pm, 9th-13th December,2009).

This festival includes a collection of compelling stories from indigenous communities across the world highlighting on-the-ground local evidence of the real impacts of, and adaptations to climate change, right now.

With today’s rapid climatic changes, the lives of indigenous peoples are being dramatically affected: some are losing homes, livelihoods, cultures and the ecosystems upon which their survival directly depends. As our scientists calculate the increasing climate-induced losses, we also recognise that our indigenous peoples’ perspectives of climatic change are extremely valuable.

The traditional knowledge of many communities embodies a deeply spiritualised and ancient relationship with the earth’s systems and cycles. Traditional songs and languages, clothing, architecture, foods, motifs, daily rituals and mythological epics are encoded with local survival information. Moreover, the diversity of indigenous cultures provides unique insights and powerful codes on how to live harmoniously within nature.

By sharing these indigenous stories of vulnerability and adaptation, we also share ideas on how ancestral wisdom is being incorporated into adaptation strategies. By cherishing the value of traditional knowledge we can discover how best to adapt to a changing climate.

Indigenous voices on climate change film festival

National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen
9th – 13th Dec
16.00 – 18.00
Free Admission

Fifteen of the films screened at the festival can be viewed in the customized youtube play-list.

The films (in alphabetical order)

ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE BY MPHUNGA VILLAGERS IN MALAWI
(2009, 7:33min Malawian Red Cross Society)
By adapting community activities in simple ways such as substituting maize crops with rice and replacing chicken with duck stock (in a flood ducks float and chickens drown), Mphunga community is building resilience.

BAKA PEOPLES – CAMEROON
(2009, 12:00min, UNDP/GEF SGP, GHRSP & Conversations with the Earth)
Community-authored videos reporting on climate change in the Central African forest.

COPING WITH ROUGHER SEAS, BANGLADESH
(2009, 5min, UNU)
In low lying Bangladesh, some of the world’s most vulnerable peoples are innovatively adapting to changing climate.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND INDIGENOUS NOMADIC TRIBES OF IRAN
(2009, 9:46min, Cenesta)
Drought: the death of life. Voices from a once fertile land.

CLIMATE CHANGE REFUGEES, CARTERET ISLANDS, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
(2009, 6:37min, UNU)
As the sea level rises, Nicholas Hakata, and his family have been surviving on fish and coconuts, and battling malaria-infected swamp mosquitoes. Hungry and frustrated, islanders have set up their own relocation team and have begun the urgent task of moving their families closer to safety.

ENERGY FOR THE PAMIR MOUNTAINS, TAJIKISTAN
(2009, 6:40min, UNU)
Highland people struggle to fuel their lives on the roof of the world.

ETHIOPIA: FARMER TO FARMER LEARNING IN A CHANGING CLIMATE
(2009, 6:40min, Netherlands Red Cross)
Ethiopian farmers share with each other new techniques helping with adaptation to climate change.

FIGHTING CARBON WITH FIRE, ARNHEM LAND, AUSTRALIA
(2009, 5:32min, UNU/ANU/WARDDEKEN)
Aboriginal fire ecologist, Dean Yibarbuk, explains how traditional fire management practices have kept the country healthy for thousands of years. Recently, his mob has been working with local scientists to adapt a regime of traditional fire management to reduce greenhouse gas emissions whilst caring for country.

FINDING A PLACE TO FEED: KYRGYZSTAN SHEPHERD FAMILY & PASTURE LOSS
(2009, 8:09min, UNU)
Shepherd Dootkasy and his wife Anarkul share their family’s observations and traditional adaptation to the changing climate in highland pastures of Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan Mountains.

INUIT KNOWLEDGE AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(2009, 15min, Zacharias Kunuk and Isuma.tv)
An update from the Inuit communities and hunting grounds on the frontline by award-winning Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk and Isuma.tv.

JAPAN’S AMA DIVERS: WHERE THE SEA WHISTLE ECHOES
(2009, 12min, UNU)
Ama, the legendary women divers of Japan have been practicing sustainable fishing for hundreds of years, but climate change coupled with overfishing, is bringing them face to face with an uncertain future.

KUNA YALA, PANAMA
(2009, 14min, Conversations with the Earth)
Kuna Indians use participatory video in their battle to save their culture and share insights on adaptation, as their traditional island territories are threatened by rising sea levels.

MAANA (NOW) – INUIT, CANADA
(2009, 6:32min, Felix Pharand D.)
Creative and funny short about an Inuit youth realising the carbon heavy footprint of his modern Arctic community.

MAASAI AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(2009, 14min, Conversations with the Earth)
Community authored video reporting on the devastating impacts of drought in Kenya.

MELTING AWAY IN THE ANDES
(2009, 4min, Sacred Lands Film Project)
Southeast of Cusco, on the steep slopes of the Andes, the Q’eros grow potatoes, herd alpaca, chew coca and pray to the mountain deities they call Apus. As El Niños come and go over the years, resilience has always been central to the vitality of Q’eros culture. As the planet warms and the glaciers melt, the Q’eros are determined to
be on the cutting edge of climate change awareness and survival.

OUR FIGHT AGAINST THE DUNES – MADAGASCAR
(2009, 3min, Panos London)
The struggle against the invading sand dunes is at the heart of the Faux Cap community. Since the 1950s, dunes have been burying their houses, schools and the local police station.

PAMIRI WOMEN AND THE MELTING GLACIERS OF TAJIKISTAN
(2009, 10:07min, UNU)
The glaciers of the Pamir Mountains, which provide over 50% of Central Asian water resources, are rapidly melting at a rate similar to Greenland’s continental glaciers. Three generations of Pamiri women share the impacts of the melt and decreasing water levels

REDISCOVERING ALTAI’S HUMAN-NATURE RELATIONSHIPS, RUSSIA
(2009, 8:33min, UNU)
Slava Cheltuev, is a Telengit community leader and shaman from the Russian Altai’s high altitude Kosh Agach Region. Whilst traversing Altai’s sacred lands, he reflects on our 21st century world and stresses the importance of reviving vital traditional knowledge: Age-old wisdom that instructs the respectful and harmonious relationship
between local environment and human behaviour.

SEA LEVEL RISE IN KOWANYAMA – CAPE YORK, AUSTRALIA
(2009, 6:26min, UNU)
“When that whole ocean comes and rises up, where are we going to go?” Old man Inherkowinginambana is Kowanyama community‘s traditional knowledge co-ordinator. We follow him, as he travels with local rangers and various traditional owners, to different cultural sites that have changed through sea level rise.

SORGHUM: A CROP OF OUR ANCESTORS – MADAGASCAR
(2009, 3min, Panos London)
Sorghum is a crop of the Antandroy and is part of its people’s heritage. It had all but disappeared until recently – replaced by donations of corn during the drought. Lost to most, but never forgotten, sorghum is making a comeback in Androy. Many farmers are eager to rediscover the crop which proves to be very resistant to drought.

THE FORBIDDEN FOREST OF THE DAYAK, BORNEO, INDONESIA
(2009, 9:05min, UNU)
Deep in the old forests of Borneo, the Setulang Dayak community guards its trees with deep commitment. The village’s traditional law of Tana Olen (forbidden forest), has helped the village withstand increasing pressure from logging industries. Now as rapid development rolls in, the village is trying to secure sustainable and forest-friendly livelihoods.

WALKING ON COUNTRY WITH SPIRITS: BIODIVERSITY LOSS IN AUSTRALIA’S WET TROPICS
(2009, 6:40min, UNU)
Marilyn Wallace, a Kuku Nyungal woman lives the “ancestor’s way” on her country, amongst World Heritage rainforest of Far North Australia. She is already noticing changes in seasonal cycles and expresses how climate change is transforming her country and traditional understandings.

•••

This festival is proudly brought to you by the United Nations University, in collaboration with the featured Indigenous storytelling communities, Conversations with the Earth, Red Cross Society, Panos London, Cenesta, Isuma.tv, Sacred Land Film Project, the National Museum of Denmark and the Christensen Fund.

The festival complements the on-going Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Assessment and the work of the UNU-IAS Traditional Knowledge Initiative.

If you would like to share this festival or a particular film from this line-up with others, we’d be delighted! Please follow the playlist links above or contact us through the Our World 2.0 website for details.

unu-ias-tki

Creative Commons License
Indigenous Voices on Climate Change Film Festival by Citt Williams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Author

A passionate and proactive filmmaker, Citt Williams’ documentaries have been screened at festivals including Cannes, Sundance, Sydney and Mumbai. Citt is currently completing her Master of Science in Climate Change at University of East Anglia.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=534183504 facebook-534183504

    Really looking forward to this!

    Justin.

  • jacquelinevanmeygaarden

    This looks like a great selection of amazing films. I am also very excited to see it as I am a filmmaker from South Africa producing a series of films about the exact same topic – Voices of the vulnerable to climate change. Is there a way that I can include my films in this film festival or link it to this website?
    thanks

    • http://twitter.com/cittw cittw

      What’s the link to the film Jacqueline? Please post it here

      • Jacqvanmey

        Here are the links to the 3 short films I’ve produced in 2009. They are part of the Voices of the Vulnerable in Southern Africa series.
        Vanilla Farmers in Madagascar: http://www.vimeo.com/9134826
        Farming Tea in Arid Lands – South Africa: http://www.vimeo.com/9179441
        When the Floods come- South Africa: http://www.vimeo.com/9187673
        We are planning to produce a series of short films like these on Southern Africa.

  • samhoffmann

    Amazing series Citt. I just forwarded it on to possible have the series screened in a few places in Australia. Is it possible to somehow have access to high res version.

    Sam H

  • dramyeisenberg

    Magnificent and very important works on indigenous perspectives. These communities are on the frontlines of climate change. We must hear heed their voices and act responsibly, wisely and with compassion for our sisters and brothers who experience the adversity of our excessive and unsustainable use of non-renewable natural resources and fossil fuels.

    Amy Eisenberg, Ph.D.
    Sonoma County Indian Health Project

  • mfarney

    I’ve lived in a major city all my life so I haven’t felt the repercussions of the climate changes. Because of this I feel quite shallow and I’m sorry I never considered how other people are being affected. All I can do now is watch the stories and try to do my part in protecting the environment. ___________ Mathew Farney

  • http://www.hanseversicherungen.de Hanseversicherungen

    Absolut fantastic Article!
    Can i have some more Information?
    Best Regards from Germany

    Andy

  • http://twitter.com/cittw cittw

    Hi Andy, Most of the films above have hyperlinks to their homepages. To find out more about Indigenous Peoples and Climate change , uyou can visit the UNU’s Traditonal Knowledge Initiative (TKI). Their website is chock full of regularly updated information. http://www.unutki.org/

    Also, if you missed the Our world post, there is an incredible UNU-TKI resource published called “Advance Guard: Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, Mitigation and Indigenous Peoples” containing over 400 case studies and research activities specifically related to climate change and indigenous peoples. It provides a sketch of the climate and environmental changes, local observations and impacts being felt by communities in different regions, and outlines various adaptation and mitigation strategies that are currently being implemented.

    Here’s the link – http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/indigenous-innovation-at-vanguard-of-climate-change/

  • Jordan 6 Rings

    You got great honest points here. I done a search on the issue and learnt most peoples will agree with your blog.

  • http://www.4thebeach.com/ Grace Sevilly

    Because of this climate change issue, now there is a problem we have in this community, our sea has changed not like before.These could be the words of an Indian elder but they actually belong to a man half a world away.The moment we stop caring about out environment, that is the time when I can say that true “evil” is in our hearts. Climate change isn’t just about houses falling off a cliff in the Philippines or polar bears stuck on an ice cap in the Pole. It is about our survival that we are talking about here and these elders know better than us how important the earth’s health is. Sure, we can even sit back and relax on a beach chair with out a care in the world. But when the Earth starts to take it on us, we will realize how wrong we were from the start.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/katie-pavlich Katie Pavlich

     Climate change might have a devastating effect on the culture of these indigenous folk.