Women Behind the Camera is a collective account of the socio-environmental conflicts faced by the dynamic women of South America. It is a traveling audiovisual creation that we will share with the communities or groups directly affected by mining, oil, and agro-productive conflicts and conflicts around the development of facilities for these industries in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. This project is already on its way. We started with a project in the Ecuadorian Amazon and we have already produced a participatory documentary about the Sapara´s resistance to oil exploitation. Now, we want to reproduce the same experience in other places in South America.
Through training workshops and audiovisual production, this project aims to remedy the lack of expressive and creative spaces for women. The main goal is to provide the tools and the technical and theoretical expertise, to understand and develop a visual arts language. Participants will then be able to express themselves with their own scripts and ideas. Projects will be defined by the participants, according to their own concerns, thoughts and desires. This knowledge will allow them to deepen and share issues affecting their communities now and in the future. The project seeks to stimulate social change, strengthening local capacities through self-determination and critical reflection. It aims to achieve this by serving as a link to amplify people´s voices.
The people involved will create one or two short documentaries in each country, focusing on some of the most significant problems. Each short will be shown within each community and the other communities in the countries will be visiting. The shorts will also be streamed on the web. The compilation of all the short pieces will be part of a longer documentary that will provide a regional view of the issues facing these communities. All the participants and their communities will have access to the web platform so that they can disseminate their work and have autonomy over their own voices and stories.
We’ve seen that women in particular, find it more difficult to make their voices, their concerns, and their projects heard. We consider it vital to establish collaborative relationships with them, but not simply because we have certain tools to share. We want to learn from the wisdom they acquire by being at the heart of social struggles. We will bring that knowledge beyond the local, with the intention of transforming widespread and detrimental social practices.
Our intention is also to build strong relationships with those of you who want to become donors to the project. We want to link the community’s concerns, our team’s concerns and yours. We aim to build close ties with those who contribute to this project and we have established communication channels to send updates while traveling and include the voice and views of those who support us.