On June 18th we presented our land purchase project in the Amazon at Ecosia. Batani and Bunke from the tribe of Huni Kuin who are here in Berlin have enriched the evening with their presence and their songs and touched us all. The presentation goes into detail about the current political situation in Brazil and informs about how the consequences are already evident after a few months in the Amazon. It becomes clear that there is an urgent need for action and that it really depends on US ALL to do something. We explain in detail what it is about. Many thanks to Olaf von Voss for the professional recording. Many thanks to Ecosia for "hosting us".
A special encounter of the artistic-activist kind at the Bauhaus University Weimar
At the beginning of February 2019, the Stop Motion Academy organized an interdisciplinary workshop for young people, students and animation enthusiasts at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. The organizer and leader of the workshop, Marcus Grysczok, became aware of the Living Gaia e.V. project at the beginning of January through a taz article about the situation of the indigenous Huni Kuin tribe in Brazil and an interview with Txana Bane, son of the chief of the Huni Kuin, to support the indigenous tribe in buying land.
With this project, Living Gaia e.V. wants to make its contribution to preserving the endangered Amazon with its unique flora, fauna and indigenous cultures. This is particularly important now that right-wing populist President Jair Bolsonaro has been in power in Brazil since early January. In his first official act, the president put the future of the Earth's lungs and the guardians of traditional knowledge at risk. Reserves of indigenous people are to be re-measured by the Ministry of Agriculture. This threatens the existence of many tribes.
Living Gaia e.V. was founded in 2013 in Berlin by Alexandra Schwarz-Schilling. The association has close ties to Brazil: Alexandra Schwarz-Schilling runs the holistic healing biotope of the same name, Living Gaia, in Alto Paraiso in Central Brazil. At the same time, she has for many years cultivated a friendship with the indigenous Huni Kuin tribe in the state of Acre on the border with Peru. Huni Kuin, the "true people", that's what they call themselves. A purchase of land is to secure the future of the tribe, a large area in the Amazon (approx. 14,000 ha) is to be reforested. At present, the land for sale is being used by a Brazilian farmer for livestock breeding. The Huni Kuin can purchase the land for the equivalent of around 300,000 euros. Living Gaia e.V. then launched the "Amazonas Land Purchase Project". The donations should preserve and restore the indispensable nature and habitat of the Huni Kuin.
Marcus Grysczoks vision is to combine art and social activism and to inspire children and young people. A short animated movie was to be made as part of his workshop. He invited Txana Bane, the chief son of Huni Kuin and Marie Buhaienko of Living Gaia e.V. They told the participants about the project and the history and tradition of the Huni Kuin, brought a breath of the rainforest with its colours, smells and songs to Weimar. In the days before, the participants received an introduction to the basic techniques of animation and were now able to create a storyline for the short film. The stories and fate of the chief's son inspired the participants.
It is an art in itself to juggle between the skills and knowledge of the workshop participants - and to involve everyone equally in the working process. Marcus Grysczok has done just that. In times of young activists like Greta Thunberg and a huge task like the climate crisis, he manages to lead younger people artistically into the topic and to get them enthusiastic about activism. Everyone was able to profit, learn and grow from this day on many levels.
A big thank you goes to Marcus Grysczok, who made the cooperation and the Bauhaus University Weimar possible. Thanks also to Txana Bane. It is a rare and wonderful opportunity to listen to an indigenous voice here in Germany.
The DBG has already published a post about the event via Facebook (in German).
A dear friend Birgit brilliantly summarized the evening with following words:
"Indigenous are the best guardians of the forest. According to Survival International, Indians should be at the forefront of climate and environmental organisations because they know best how to do it. A key element in the already dramatic climate changes and chain reactions is the preservation of the Amazon rainforest. If the Amazon rainforest tilts by becoming too dry and catching fire or turning into a savannah, the earth lacks the most important remaining CO2 storage. If this tipping effect occurs, it will also be life-threatening for us. To our horror, the trend in Brazil since the election of Bolsonaro continues towards deforestation and persecution, respectively murder of indigenous people and environmentalists. "There is a systematic war being waged against the earth," said a journalist present tonight. Therefore, the protection of the indigenous people and their territories is a triad that is also important for our survival: protection for the people, for the precious and irretrievable biodiversity and for the global climate."
Two donation concerts have already taken place in Amsterdam and Berlin.
More than 850 Euro have been collected for our project. Many thanks to Hagar Michel for organizing both events. We are looking forward to further benefit events on a larger or smaller scale. In Berlin we had delicious food and a singing evening in a private apartment. Everything is possible. Feel inspired.