Kantza is a film project envisioned and produced by members of the Shuar nation, indigenous caretakers of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Kantza is a film project envisioned and produced by members of the Shuar nation, indigenous caretakers of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Through collaboration with professional video and audio technicians the tribe intends to share the beauty of their culture as well as the struggle to preserve their homelands. Furthermore, the skills gained by making their own movie will offer on-going opportunities to document culture, share wisdom and engage the global community in ways that support social and environmental justice.
Kantza will explore the interface between traditional Shuar culture and the possibilities and challenges of today’s modern world. Rather than sending scholars, explorers, and university ‘experts’ to study and report about indigenous cultures, the Amazon people ask instead for help in obtaining the tools that will allow them to share their world personally and truthfully, in their own words, through their own creations. The Shuar are excited to express their living tradition through new medium
Kantza has its roots in traditional Shuar mythology, a cultural soil rich in human wisdom and teachings about environmental stewardship. This is an opportunity for old stories to come to life in new ways. Film will add new textures and layers of meaning to the stories themselves and render them available to people across the world interested in learning traditional indigenous stories.
With support from this campaign the Shuar will receive valuable training in audio and video production as well as minimal but professional quality equipment, designed to handle the extreme conditions of the Amazon jungle. Prepared to share their story with the world, the Shuar intend to document their own culture and offer knowledge and inspiration pertaining to environmental and social issues impacting the entire planet. Additionally, the Shuar are excited to share skills and resources with neighboring communities in an attempt to further empower cultural expression and vocalize indigenous presence throughout the Amazon and support inter-tribal solidarity.
400 indigenous groups in the Amazon are waiting to speak for themselves to the international community for the first time. The communications equipment will provide a means for the tribes to preserve their cultures through self-archiving: sharing their medicinal knowledge, sustainability practices, spiritual heritage and cultural ways through online repositories.
Cultural archiving tools provide the youth with inspiring artistic projects that bring the focus away from external cultures back onto their own, encouraging them to convene with elders to capture rich cultural music, stories, medicinal knowledge, and histories of the land. Cultural erosion is prevented through access to online education that eliminates the need for children to leave their homes to attend distant schools where they lose their cultural values, native language, and environmental knowledge.
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