Calling on all Globalisation Pirates and Cultural Rebels: the boat is leaving any minute!
Having realised that political organising (in Amazonia, everywhere?) all too often falls prey to the lures of power corrupting even the best of intentions once the gap between representer and the represented grows to an irreconcilable division of minds, bodies and communities, or, even worse, realising that political organising simply bores people (refer in particular to the previous point for justification of that sentiment), and simply does not cut deep enough (how could technocratic thinking actually reach communities embedded in a poetic cosmovision?), we call for a story-telling, myth-carrying, ideas inter-changing and multifariously cultural boat to float down the river!
A multifariously cultural boat, a floating info-shop with workshops, theatre, circus acts and silliness, film screenings, film- and many other media-making facilities for self-representation, self-realisation and -reflection, bobbing from community to community on the Napo and connected rivers -from Puerto Napo, in Napo, Ecuador, to beyond Iquitos and Pucallpa in Peru, maybe even to Brazil on the Rio Amazonas. Shifting people, information and plants from community to community for exchange, and between different projects, establishing not only a new (and emancipatory) interface between isolated communities and the rest of the global village, but also facilitating the emergence of a Pan-Amazonian sector of the also emerging global civil society – connecting embryonic botanical garden projects, reforestation and other environmental activities with one another and with the ongoing effort to create a culture of enjoyment and liberation beyond the market.
The boat should be populated by those who care for the project – and should be a motley crew, from drum-making and -banging Playa de Oro people to Ayahuasca drinking age-old artisans from Pucallpa, from participatory video facilitators to kayaking explorers, divers, dreamers and dancers. A people’s boat, by the people of the world, for the people, not for profit, not for exploitation, but for collaboration.
Within a year to two the boat should float – and hopefully the project could, initially be something of a five-year plan, subject to annual revisions and, of course, with the intent to carry on and to multiply – and, crucially, with the intent to hand over the running and development of the boat to the people whose livelihoods it touches upon, the communities, the ethnicities and idiosyncracies of the people who live along the Napo river and beyond.
If the boat tickles your fancy – if you have an idea, a comment or the needed funds or connections to get them, then get in touch with the Association Ishpingo in Tena, Ecuador by leaving a comment here or by writing to: tortugafilms -at- aktivix -dot- org
We’re still in the very early stages with this project, but other projects are unfolding all the time down here. Should you want to come and do research about the rain forest, about indigenous people in the Amazon, about bio-piracy, reforestation, botanical gardens, or any related matters in connection with your BA/BSc/MA/MSc/PhD or any other form of independent research, then get in touch as well – there’s lots to do in an exciting, sometimes depressing and certainly always challenging environment with a great mix of people!
Note, however, that we discourage any short term engagements – both because of the environmental costs of trans-atlantic flights and because the Amazon already suffer much too much from short term engagements all too often based on the foreigners’ needs, wants and desires. Ishpingo and the culture boat project seek to establish long term, sustainable solutions for the forest!!