I held a simple ceremony to close the Schumacher Institute Challenge Day in Bristol, summer 2012. This video shows a section of my intro to creating that circle.
The UK and US military are invading Iraq, and in a rural English village, three coach loads of objectors are kidnapped by the British police. Why? To prevent freedom of association and speech in opposition to an illegal war.
This footage was used in a judicial review of the police action - which many years later was found to have been against the law.
When Liza Grandia was younger, she worked with Conservation International (CI) in Guatemala's Maya Bioshere Reserve. Inspired by Rachel Carson's work in the USA, she hoped to build local environmental movements for protection of forests full of ancient archaeology, vibrant indigenous cultures and rare and wild creatures.
But it seemed her employers had other ideas.
Here, she tells a tale of institutional myopia, betrayal and systematic failure in big conservation. Now a cancer survivor, a mother and a clear eyed university professor, her story needs to be heard to be believed..
2012. "Imagining a New Wildlife Politics: Conservation Contrarians and Corporate Elephants in the Room."
A Review Essay of Rosaleen Duffy’s 'Nature Crime: How We Are Getting Nature Wrong'.
Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy 15(1): 95-114.
2009. "Silent Spring in the Land of Eternal Spring: The Germination of a Conservation Conflict."
Current Conservation 3(3): 10-13.
Liza's bio: clarku.edu/faculty/facultybio.cfm?id=663
Update from Liza, November 2012:
Without a community base, CI had trouble fundraising in Guatemala and closed their offices in 2011 with a characteristically slick CI report that takes false credit for a lot of things CI had nothing to do with.
ProPeten's work continues along quite well: propeten.org
This presentation was recorded in May 2008 for the symposium:
"Problematizing Neoliberal Biodiversity Conservation: Displaced and Disobedient Knowledge"
Washington D.C., American University, Department of Anthropology, May 16-19, 2008
Organizers: Jim Igoe (Dartmouth College, Department of Anthropology) & Sian Sullivan (Birkbeck School of Geography, University of London, )
An Executive Summary for the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is available here:
A special issue of Current Conservation also features articles by several of the contributors:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Lately I've been working voluntarily with emerging networks for human rights in conservation.One task is to edit video testimonies from indigenous people who have lost land, lives and livelihoods to ill-considered conservation initiatives. As a life long environmentalist and niece of Sir Peter Scott, known as the father / patron saint of conservation, this work is very close to my heart. For when conservation goes wrong, it is not only the people immediately affected who suffer; it is also the animals, forests and seas. Potection of wild nature demands that we humans learn to work TOGETHER - across our cultures, races and values.
In 2012 I visited Helsinki to create a series of short films for the Tax Justice Network. It was a major learning curve, and surprisingly exciting, to document, understand and then summarise sections of the"Seminar on Transfer Pricing: Alternative Methods of Taxation of Multinationals"hosted by The Tax Justice Network with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and KEPAat the Parliament of Finland, Helsinki 13-14th June 2012
My Tribute to our Father Wayland Young, Lord Kennet at his Memorial Ceremony at Christ Church Spitalfields, London, 12/12/09.
I re edited this film as part of a consultancy preparing participatory and community video for screening at the United Nations 2011 OHCHR Social Forum .
In the 1970s, the Endorois people of Kenya's Rift Valley were forced from their land to make way for the Lake Bogoria National Reserve. They took their case before the African Commission on Peoples' and Human Rights and finally achieved a victory in 2010, creating a major legal precedent for the Right to Development and recognising indigenous people's rights over traditional lands and resources. Much remains to be done to implement these basic human rights, and I continue to work on justice and conservation.
Up to date information from on the Endorois Case can be obtained from the Minority Rights Group International
The successful Forum, held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, marked 25 Years of the Right to Development. My role involved identifying videos for screening and speakers to present alongside them, and making a presentation about my work using participatory media to bring excluded voices to the table. I also ran audio-visual projection for the event.
A Film by the Southern Sector Youth and Women's Empowerment Network (SOSYWEN)
Produced by Zoe Young
with Saskia Evans and Andrea Cuadrado.
I don’t want to be here.
Somebody decided I was a witch.
Now my heart is dead – what I used to know, I don’t know any more…
Yadu Masam, Ngani ‘Witches’ Camp’, Ghana, 2010
What becomes of women accused of witchcraft?
Who can stop the burning?
How to educate the ignorant, heal the fearful and end the isolation and abuse of some of our most vulnerable people?
In many parts of the world, magic and spirits are everywhere. One consequence is that physical illness, death and misfortune may be blamed on supernatural intervention. A feeling that events are spinning out of control can fuel violence towards scapegoats. Victims are often ‘outsiders’ of some kind, be they old, mentally ill, disabled, infertile or even just outspoken women.
But given culturally appropriate education and concerted government action, might the modern witch hunts be stopped? In this half hour film, West African women’s empowerment coordinator Zenabu Sakibu hears the heart-breaking stories of accused 'witches' in Ghana’s Northern Region, and challenges her nation to step up….
This 30 minute film was commissioned by SOSYWEN to screen on Ghana TV, as part of their educational campaign to reintegrate the women of the 'witches' camps' and secure the basic human rights of Ghanaian men, women and children. The film was made on a very tight budget, and covers a story rarely told in the West: African people taking effective steps to solve problems affecting their development - within their own communities and cultures.
Co-ordinator of the 'Witches' Camp' Integration Project of the Southern Sector Youth and Women's Empowerment Network (SOSYWEN), Zenabu received her Masters in Project Planning and Management at Bradford University. She works to give other West African women the chance to develop and give back to their communities.
With a MSc. from Sussex University in Science and Technology Policy, Zoe writes and makes films about edgy and neglected issues in human development. Navigating international economy, ecology, science, spirit, security, activism, gender and politics, she works to give voice to the voiceless in a techno-globalising world .
+44 7931 316 970
Camera, Assistant Director/Producer
Inspired by studying Social Anthropology in Manchester, Saskia Evans has worked in factual TV, documentary development, and as a freelancer making films for NGOs in Britain and abroad. Filming in Ghana got her stuck into a complex, potent issue at the interface of culture and human rights.
vimeo: saskia evans
An editing graduate from the National Film and Television School, Andrea has edited long and short form documentary and assisted on BAFTA award-winning films. She is passionate about giving a voice to important stories through film.
The massive worldwide problem of witchcraft-related abuse receives very little attention from experts in development, gender and campaigns to stop violence against women. This film shows not only that witchcraft-related abuse is a serious issue substantially affecting development in places like West Africa, but also that something can be done about it.
SOSYWEN is grateful to DANIDA for its kind support of this film and of the 'Witches Camp' Integration project.
To learn more about SOSYWEN's work, please visit http://www.sosywen.org
Available for distribution via Journeyman Pictures
Please contact us to arrange a screening. Thank You.
Who can save the Bengal tiger..?
Forest dwellers, or city people who want them out of the park?
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) looked promising on paper - with two and a half billion dollars from the world's governments to spend on global green aid, and an inclusive, democratic model of governance. But did this international financial institution live up to its own rhetoric? Continuing environmental, food and financial crises, and declining tiger populations in India, suggest not. SUITS AND SAVAGES looks at a GEF/World Bank ecodevelopment project from the ground up - travelling between one remote tribe in India and another, more powerful, in Washington DC; spanning the gulf between their environments.
Now available on DVD, complete with extras including Spanish and Kannada versions of the film, photos from the shoot, articles on the issues covered and 'Five Years On', a five minute update from the India Ecodevelopment project site in Karnataka.
Watch the 38 min documentary here
or a 4 minute excerpt prepared for the UN OHCHR 2011 Social Forum on the Right to Development:
Resilience is the ability to cope with and recover from abrupt change. Indigenous peoples who are organised, confident to adjust their systems to changing circumstances, while maintaining their identity strong, will be better able to develop and withstand shocks caused by climate change etc. This clip was edited by Zoe Young from the films of LifeMosaic - http://www.lifemosaic.net - and screened at the United Nations OHCHR Social Forum, marking 25 Years of the Right to Development: ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/SForum/Pages/SForum2011.aspx.
This exclusive footage shows a woman known as 'Lynn Watson', believed to be an undercover police officer, taking part in anti-war protests while dressed as a rebel clown.
This officer appears to have operated undercover in the UK peace and environmental movements from 2003-2008. The video shows her participating in protests in Yorkshire in 2004 against the US/UK invasion of Iraq. She is seen with the non-violent radical group known as the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army - aka CIRCA - shaking her backside outside a government MP's office, playing cricket with a feather duster outside a military recruitment office in Leeds and doing the hokey cokey to a police line at the US military's Menwith Hill spy base.
It is believed that 'Lynn' was deployed by the UK National Public Order Intelligence Unit, which has links to corporations.
This video was shot primarily by Zoe Young while embedded as a journalist in the Clown Army. She edited this report in 2011, incorporating video shot by John Daniel at Menwith Hill on the 4th of July 2004.
We're working to tell a 'good news story' out of Africa. Unusual, eh?
Life in Northern Ghana can be pretty rough, especially for women. There aren't a lot of clinics, schools or washing machines, toilets, lights or reliable water supplies. Religion and malaria are rife.
People whose prayers are not answered sometimes find scapegoats for events that seem beyond their control. 'Kick the cat', writ large. But when people are educated about healthcare, sensitised to justice and human rights, committed to more effective action for healing and development than the power of prayer alone, they are less likely to accuse each other of 'witchcraft'.
Hate crime against the old, the ill and the infertile in many parts of West Africa is linked to irrational fear of malevolent action through the spirit world. Witch hunts can be symptomatic of social tensions when traditional value systems give way to new. Family and neighbours can abuse men as well as women, young as well as old. But thousands of destitute, mainly older women find the barest refuge with the traditional authorities running six 'witch camps' scattered across Northern Ghana. Before these camps can be closed, the violence against women has to stop.
That is why we are making a documentary for Ghana TV, with Zenabu Sakibu, co-ordinator of the Southern Sector Youth and Women's Empowerment Network (SOSYWEN). Her colleagues include the Ghana Police and Health Service, the Commission on Economic Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), government Information Offices and others. They are working systematically to support independent Ghana's laws and Constitution, educate communities and reintegrate the women of the 'witch camps'.
I was a rich woman, god blessed me. I had eight children, they did everything. But six of them died, leaving only two. When my children died, I felt like dying too.
Because I refused to kill myself, I was brought here.
People said that I was a witch and I used my children’s souls to get rich.
I don’t want anybody else to suffer as we do - people should be free.
How would you feel, in my position?
Wayland died in May 2009. He was a fine man, much loved, and mourned.
The service was held in Christ Church Spitalfields, London, on 12th December 2009.
Bard of Maeryland, tribe of Preachain.. these, her words..
The British Channel Island of Jersey is a major European tax haven. Over $500 billion of client money is hidden on accounts in Jersey to evade and avoid taxes.
Campaigners visited Jersey in March 2009 to expose the impacts of tax havens on the lives of ordinary people around the world - people who pay their taxes and carry the burden of tax evaders. On a walking tour of Banking offices, citizens from across Europe spoke about the institutions' support for corrupt and unethical practices.
They wanted politicians to take action against tax havens like Jersey. Two weeks after this tour, G20 leaders met in London and agreed to take action. But their proposals were weak and did little to help not least in small islands like Jersey which have seen traditional industries swept aside by tax haven activity. Tax Justice has risen inexorably up the international agenda sinc this film was made, but much remains to be done to close tax havens and secure public finances - internationally.
In addition to Full Video of Walking Tour of Banks in Jersey's Financial District I also documented the
Walking Tour of City of London Banks and Other Institutions Complicit in Creating the Financial Crisis
On Friday 4 September 2009, as G20 Finance Ministers met in London, Put People First campaigners took to the streets of London for a walking tour of the financial crisis. All videos available here.
March 2003, the invasion of Iraq was beginning and in deepest middle England, three coachloads of people on their way to a lawful anti-war rally at a US airbase were stopped, searched and kidnapped by hundreds of police. Treated as dangerous terrorists the peace people - and their hired coach drivers - were imprisoned on the moving buses and forced back to London with helicopter escort along a motorway closed for the purpose. This denial of the passengers' human rights, including the right to protest, was later found to be illegal by the UK Law Lords after a judicial review.
For more information see Fairford Coach Action This no-budget film was made in the days following the events depicted, and the footage was used in the court cases.
These 13 short clips document this Alliance workshop, held at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona in October. The workshop set out to critically analyze the emerging concept of “food sovereignty” as a transformative process that seeks to recreate the democratic realm and regenerate a diversity of autonomous food systems.
In this light, social justice, agro-biodiversity and ecological sustainability were analysed as interrelated phenomena whereby people and local communities empower themselves to protect the space, ability and right to define food, agricultural and land use policies, and their own patterns of food production, distribution and consumption.
Rooting the discussion on indigenous knowledge and sustainable customary practices, the relevance of the “Food Sovereignty” paradigm for conservation and sustainable natural resource use was explored and discussed by panellists and all workshop participants.
The workshop analysed specific examples and case study material to highlight some of the many practical ways in which local, autonomous organizations manage and oversee different links in the food chain-- from seed to plate.
The roles of local and customary organizations in sustaining diverse food systems, livelihoods and environments, in producing knowledge and innovations, and in designing regulatory institutions was analyzed emphasising their contribution to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services as well as to sustainable livelihoods.
The workshop also sought to identify reversals and social actions needed to support locally determined food systems and autonomous organizations for conservation and human well being. Participants were invited to critically reflect on how conservation and environmental sustainability objectives can be met through policies and practices that affirm the values of citizenship, confederalism, inclusion, rights to land and territory, transformed knowledge and practice agro-ecology and ecological literacy, and deepening democracy.
This event was jointly organised by IIED’s Sustainable Agriculture, Biodiversity and Livelihoods program and IUCN’s Commission on Environment, Economic and Social Policy.
2004, short update to the documentary 'Suits and Savages - Why the World Bank Won't Save the Tiger' (the acclaimed documentary on the Global Environment Facility), Zoe returned to Nagarhole, Karnataka, South India, to explore the fate of the people, forest and World Bank/GEF-funded 'India Ecodevelopment' project. She found local police investigating corruption and environmental damage, local people frustrated by the waste of money and the World Bank still not learning - let alone sharing - the lessons. Local human rights activists felt the money had been wasted 'like putting salt in the ocean', if their communities had been listened to, they could have protected the forest, promoted education and much-desired development.
This film is included as an 'extra' on the new DVD of Suits and Savages, along with multi-lingual versions, pictures and stories from the shoot, background materials and more.
The World Bank Campaign Europe and The Permanent Peoples' Tribunal held a Public Hearing on the World Bank in October: 'WORLD vs. BANK'. This video presents the voices and faces of witnesses to the impact of World Bank policies and practices around the world.