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Friday 26th June 8.30pm Depot Theatre | Addison Rd Community Centre
86min | ALAN EREIRA | MAMA SHIBULATA
The Kogi say that without thought, nothing could exist. This is a problem, because we are not just plundering the world, we are dumbing it down, destroying both the physical structure and the thought underpinning existence. The Kogi believe that they live in order to care for the world and keep its natural order functioning, but they recognized some years ago that this task was being made impossible by our mining and deforestation. In 1990 they emerged to work with Alan Ereira, making a 90-minute film for BBC1 in which they dramatically warned of our need to change course. Then they withdrew again.
The Kogi once traded with the Mayans and Aztecs. They survived the Spanish conquests by retreating into their isolated mountain massif, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where they have been able to preserve their ancient lifestyle and culture.
Mama Shibulata, the leader of the Kogi has once again emerged from his peoples solitude and invited the filmmaker back to make Aluna with them as a message to the rest of us. The Kogi regard themselves are the guardians of the earth, a heavily substantiated claim given the insights shared in this revelatory film. Since making his first documentary on the Kogi, Alan Ereira has created a small NGO called the Tairona Heritage Trust. The Trust works on behalf of Gonavindua Tairona, the political organisation founded by the Mamas to represent the interests of the Indigenous peoples of the Sierra in the face of increasing Western pressure.
“In ancestral cultures, dance is the core, a kind of sacred medicine. Dance is grounded, connected the spirit of Mother Earth. Unless you surrender to the dance you can’t hunt quietly. It is an integral part of human existence. It should be possible to translate from the traditional essence to the contemporary world. Dance is the universal language. It is our human identity, our souls in celebration. Dance is the universal cure.”
Kathleen Gonzalez is a Colombian contemporary artist currently based in Melbourne Australia. Her work encompasses diverse forms of native experiences to contemporary expression of art-dance sensation and emotions. Kathleen is also an ethnologic dance investigator. She researches contemporary and interactive emotional dancing, with a particular focus on “Ethnodanceology Art”.
Ecocide is the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished. The Kogi understand the earth as a living being, and it needs to be cared for as a living being. It also needs legal protection. So far as they are concerned, this is at the heart of the “original law” which governs us. So they urge the world to adopt the proposal to designate Ecocide as a crime against world peace under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.