Spring Sustainability Series: HELENA SARAYAKU MANTA

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About the film

Traveling between her life in Finland and her mother’s homeland deep in the rainforests of Ecuador, 17-year-old Helena Gualinga yearns to protect her indigenous community from extractive development and the repercussions of climate change. Her story highlights the efforts of the Kichwa people of Sarayaku to recognize the Amazon rainforest as a “Kawsak Sacha – Living Jungle”. The “Living Jungle” is both a cultural philosophy and a proposal to governments that states the rainforest is not a resource to be used, rather it is a living and conscious entity in need of legal protection. With the help of her Sarayaku elders’ wisdom, Helena sets out on a journey to educate the world about the importance of conserving the Amazon Rainforest, traveling to New York City to participate in climate marches and giving speeches about indigenous sovereignty. A story of perseverance and resilience, Helena Sarayaku Manta, is an ode to indigenous communities striving to preserve their culture as they face consequences of a globalized world and the hastening effects of climate change.

About the Panel

Co-presented by the Department of Latin American Studies. Panelists include:

Chair, Dr. Joanna Mitchell

Mitchell Tijerina, Graduate student, Geology

Prof. Diego Alvarado Serrano, Biological Sciences

Megan Westervelt, video producer, School of Communication Studies

About the series

Athena Cinema, University Libraries and Environmental Studies Program present the 10th annual Sustainability Film Series.

In keeping with all previous series, each film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring faculty members, students and community members.

Following each film we invite audience members to join us for a panel discussion hosted by faculty members, students and community members. Please join us for a conversation following these beautiful, thought-provoking and timely films.

The series is possible thanks to the support of: Voinovich School of Leadership
and Public Affairs, OHIO Honors Program, Honors Tutorial College, Cutler Scholars, Office of
Sustainability, Center for Campus & Community Engagement, University College, Athens
International Film and Video Festival, and beloved nonprofits and businesses.

Free admission and post-show discussion, as part of the Spring Sustainability Series.

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