-A part of URBAN INDIGENOUS TAKEOVER –
It seems like protecting the environment is a utopia filled with paradoxes. The gap between public discourse and private companies exploitations. The gap between our good wishes for the earth and our cherished consumer habits.
2019: the Amazon rainforest was burning. More than 21,000 square miles of Siberian forest went up in flames. The wildfire in the Canary Islands forced more than 8,000 people to flee. Iceland mourned the loss of the Okjokull glacier, now lost forever.
Yet, there is little or almost any protection for the ones protecting the environment, a significant number of whom are indigenous peoples. In fact, according to Global Witness, 1,738 environmental defenders were killed between 2002 and 2018, across 50 countries.
Oslo 2019: the city portrays itself as the green capital. The desire to be greener has never been more present. But this is far from enough. If a sustainable utopia is to be met, the changes need to be more decisive and they should go beyond the borders of nation-states.
The Norwegian paradox is quite evident in the Brazilian case: on the one hand, there is an evident effort in trying to safeguard the Amazon, simultaneously Norwegian company Hydro was accused of environmental damage in the same areas.
What would it take to stop the destruction caused by the development and progress? Do the arts have a role in achieving a sustainable utopia?
– Thelma Cabrera a Maya Mam indigenous rights defender, is originally from the department of Retalhuleu. She is a descendant of a Campesino family and has been a defender of human and Indigenous Peoples’ rights for more than 25 years. About 60% of the Guatemalan population is indigenous, but Cabrera is only the second indigenous person to run for president after the Nobel Peace prize winner Rigoberta Menchu.
– Eva Maria Fjellheim is an Indigenous south Sami and a Ph.D. candidate at the Centre for Sami Studies at UiT The Arctic University of Tromsø. She is currently doing research on resistance to renewable energy developments on indigenous territories in Norway and Guatemala.
– Javier Jiménez. Director of Festival Boreal. Spain. As a festival, Boreal has a multicultural identity as an eco-festival and as a human rights defender. The event is held on the north coast of Tenerife, in different spaces next to an amazing historical seventeenth-century ex-convent, in a natural setting at the foot of a volcano which is Biosphere Reserve, and it has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
– Felipe Julian is known as Craca. He is an award-winning Brazilian musician and visual artist who also works in projects of artistic occupation in public spaces in his city. In concert: Oslo World: Craca e Dani Nega (BR) // Youngs Nede
– Bengi Unsal– is a music enthusiast and impresario with a career spanning more than 20 years as an artistic programmer, venue director, label manager, festival organizer, booker and promoter in Turkey and UK. She is the Head of Contemporary Music at Southbank Centre.
– Moderator: Benedicte Bull professor at SUM – Centre for Development and the Environment at UiO, director of Norwegian Latin America Research Network – NorLARNet.
The panel will be followed by a short intervention of young voices from Colombia and Brazil:
– Luana de Oliveira. From Brazil, educator, and member of MST – Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra. Luana works with culture and communication, women’s struggle and LGBTQ+ issues.
– Alejandra Salazar. From Colombia, sociologist, and member of CNA (Coordinator Nacional Agrario) and ACA (Antioquia Peasant Association). Alejandra works with families who are victims of the armed conflict.
Oslo Architecture Triennale will be part of the panel (TBA). This year the OAT will take place under the theme “Degrowth”