Below the water, there is another planet we seldom think about. As I am writing this, it is established that the water world counts more than 228,000 species, while experts estimate that between 500,000 and 2 million more sea organisms are still unknown. They form an ecosystem that is integrated into ours – many other living creatures depend on marine life, and that includes us, humans.

Desierto Liquido was screened in CCCB in Barcelona

In many countries, fish and seafood are the main sources of protein. Yet the vigor of the fish industry is currently under serious threat. From Fiji to Mauritania, the fishing industry has indeed become a precarious if unfair trade with fishermen experiencing increasingly harder working conditions as they must face competition from monster multinational fishing boats, and take account of the overexploitation of fish stocks.

The issue of marine life preservation and the struggle of small fishermen in Africa and Europe to make ends meet was shown last Tuesday in «Desierto Liquido» (Liquid Desert), a documentary that was screened at the Contemporary Culture Center of Barcelona. Directors Alba Azaola and Daniel Carrasco, both former Greenpeace activists, who, on site, were able to see first-hand the current state of the marine life, offered a clear picture of overfishing, poverty and lack of opportunities that the fishermen in developing countries are faced with and that are causing social unrest, forced immigration and ultimately deaths, not to mention conflicts between small communities and big multinationals.

With this documentary, the directors objective is to spread the word about the situation in the seas. «It is an under covered topic that most people don’t want to think about», said Daniel Carrasco. Having already won 4 prizes in as many movie festivals, they would like their documentary to be screened in as many theatres as possible, and plan to turn it into an educational project. «We have had support from teachers and we are trying to get a partnership with governments. From this documentary we are developing related projects like Blue Hope Tuna (a film about the Bluefin tuna)», he added.

After the screening, a panel which included the directors, as well as Lydia Chaparro, an activist and marine biologist, Gustavo Duch, coordinator of the magazine Soberania Alimentaria and Daouda Dieye, a Senegalese national whose fishing family has been heavily impacted by overfishing. Daouda’s speech indeed added a human touch to the issue – all men in his family are fishermen and face the crisis on a daily basis. «The spend weeks at sea, risking their lives and competing with big fishing boats that operate illegally, while the authorities overlook the situation», he stated. “Many migrants from African origin”, he said, “are actually eco-refugees, fleeing poverty that is caused by the lack of opportunities”.

«Liquid desert» makes a call to fish consumers to be more conscious when choosing what to eat. In some countries, regulations require origin guarantee stamps and seals that show where the fishes come from, and the fishing method used. «There are hundreds of fish types in the sea, but people still buy the same ten or twelve types, which aggravates the problem of endangered species», said Lydia Chaparro. «The power of change is in our hands», she added.

The trailer can be seen here (in Spanish)

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good that connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. In this article, Horyou highlights the challenges of the SDG 14 – Life Below Water.

The UN Launches Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change

The 2016 edition of the Global Youth Video Competition
The 2016 edition of the Global Youth Video Competition

What are you doing to combat the climate change? In order to get answers to this question – and to promote the debate about global warming, the UN launched yesterday a film competition. The Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change is open to 18 to 30 year olds and will award two winners with a trip to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, in November of this year. They will join the UN communications team as videographers and reporters.

The video competition is in its third edition. Last year, the closing ceremony of the competition took place in Marrakesh, during COP22, and was covered by Horyou blog. In 2016, the jury of the competition had the participation of renowned filmmakers as Bernardo Bertolucci, Fernando Meirelles (director of City of God and The Constant Gardener), and the French actor Christopher Lambert.

As for the 2017 edition, the organizers will accept videos submitted by August 18th, 2017.

The two categories for this year are:

  • Climate friendly and resilient cities
  • Oceans and climate change

Nick Nuttall, Spokesperson and Director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said: “I am excited about viewing the video shorts that young people from across the globe will be making and sending in, in order to win a place at the UN climate conference in Bonn in November”.

“With the Pacific island of Fiji presiding over the conference—COP23—I would like this year to especially urge young, creative people from small islands and vulnerable coastlines to get out their cameras and their smartphones and submit cool, amazing and inspirational videos about how they and their communities are taking climate action”, added Mr. Nuttall.

The third Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change is co-organized by the United Nations Climate Change secretariat, the UNDP GEF-Small Grants Programme –– and will be implemented through the Television for the Environment (tve) platform.

During the COP22 negotiations, a global video competition, Film4Climate, gathered cinema lovers to discuss the effects of climate change on people’s lives all over the world and granted awards to directors and students who spread the message about the need to protect the environment.

Film4Climate jury and winners
Film4Climate jury and winners

How to use the big screen to spread a global message about climate change and its effects? In 2016, during the preparations for the COP22 in Marrakesh, the World Bank launched a film competition for Young directions. The result was Film4Climate, a side event of the COP which received over 860 subscriptions from 155 countries.

Before the award ceremony, the event offered a special screening of “Before the Flood”, a film presented and produced by Leonardo di Caprio, and “Years of living dangerously”, with Gisele Bundchen and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Both movies were pungent and provoked passionate discussions among the participating panelists. Personalities and intellectuals including Brazilian film-maker Fernando Meirelles, actor Christopher Lambert, and Columbia professor Jeffrey Sacks defended the role of cinema as a tool for change for the better. “We need to get actors, media, youth and audiences together around this battle. People who can reach, inspire and educate, so we will be able to promote change now”, said professor Sacks.

“Before the Flood”, a didactic and yet emotional film, portrayed Leonardo di Caprio’s personal story and his early connection with “The garden of Earthly Delights”, a triptych painted by the Dutch Hieronymus Bosch that shows three stages of the world: “paradise” as created by God, earth being dominated by greed and pleasures, and “final damnation”, depicting destruction and chaos. “I had the painting hanged over my bed. That is maybe the reason I became fascinated by species disappearing”, says Leonardo. In the movie, he travels the world showing the social and environmental effects of climate change, in an effort to take people to action – the core message of COP22. Leonardo interviews personalities like Pope Francis, Barack Obama and Ban ki Moon to show that spiritual and political leaders are engaged in the cause.

In “Years of Living Dangerously”, Gisele Bundchen shows the extent of deforestation in Brazil and its intrinsic connections with cattle farming, while Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses the American military efforts to develop clean energy facilities on a global scale, and the challenges they have to face with the Congress. The message of the movie was clear: we, as citizens, can make the world a better place, either through our vote and citizenship, or by other simple actions like changing our consuming habits.

The screenings were followed by panel discussions with invited speakers, notably Hakima El Haite, Delegate Minister of Environment in Morocco and High Level Champion of UNFCCC. “Today, we are facing the most challenging crisis for humanity, and we are asking people to change everything: the way they consume, produce and build. That’s why we need to touch the hearts of people, so we create a revolution of the brain”, she said, stressing that media and cinema are “keys” for this revolution.

The Short Film prize went to “Three Seconds”, from Spencer Sharp, a clip-like video narrated on hip hop rhythms about the effects of human presence on Earth. “We need public policies to change the world. But politicians are elected by people, and we can engage voters with emotions, with our films”, said director Fernando Meirelles, a member of the jury.

Film4Climate is a global campaign of Connect4Climate and World Bank which aims to develop a concrete plan to raise awareness about climate change through cinema, while mitigating the environmental impact of film. The winning entries were awarded cash prizes of USD$8,000, $5,000, and $2,000 for first, second and third, in each of two categories: an under one-minute Public Service Advertisement (PSA) or a Short Film up to five minutes.

Written by Vívian Soares

La communauté Horyou est toujours heureuse de valoriser les projets de nos membres actifs, comme la géographe Marie Storme. Elle a dirigé le film Les Jardins de l’Espoir, qui sera lancé en Avril 2017 aux États-Unis. Le film parle de l’importance des jardins urbains pour la qualité de vie des habitants des villes et leur relation avec la nature. Marie a été interviewée par Horyou blog sur son projet:

Les Jardins de l'espoir sera lancé aux États-Unis en 2017
Les Jardins de l’espoir sera lancé aux États-Unis en 2017

– Racontez-nous un peu votre travail et le projet de réalisation d’un film sur les jardins urbains.

Mon travail de géographe m’a amenée à m’intéresser à ce que les sociétés et les hommes font de leur territoire, et spécialement les territoires urbains. Au fil de mes voyages, j’ai constaté que de nombreuses grandes villes présentaient des points communs mais aussi de subtiles différences. J’ai notamment remarqué que les espaces laissés en friche étaient plus ou moins réutilisés par les habitants. Derrière leur implication pour l’entretien, ils rencontrent pourtant souvent des freins institutionnels qu’ils apprennent à surmonter, comme dans le jardin Herold du 20ème arrondissement à Paris, où le jardin des résidents de Gaunt Street a Lincoln.

Gaunt Street Garden à Lincoln
Gaunt Street Garden à Lincoln

– Quelle est l´histoire du film Jardin de l’espoir?

A travers ces constats, j’ai commencé à parler avec les gens. J’ai découvert dans certaines villes que des groupes spontanés de résidents ou des associations plus formelles s’étaient créés autour d’une idée simple : améliorer le cadre de vie et redonner aux jardins toute leur place dans la vie des habitants, comme à San Francisco où j’ai commencé à filmer. Ce film raconte le parcours des résidents alentour qui se sont regroupés, leurs efforts et leur plaisir de travailler ensemble pour embellir leurs espaces de vie voire même pour faire pousser des légumes et réapprendre à se nourrir.

– Comment des jardins urbains peuvent-ils influer sur le bien être des populations à un moment où la durabilité est un sujet essentiel?

Si l’on veut associer durabilité et bien-être, alors je crois que c’est dans le rapport des êtres humains à la nature que cela prend ses racines. La nature peut nous montrer un rythme de vie plus lent, plus respectueux envers les ressources, moins tourné vers l’hyper consommation et orienté vers la régénération autant de la nature que de nos esprits et de nos relations. La permaculture est un bon exemple de cela.

Le film touche le sujet de la durabilité
Le film touche le sujet de la durabilité

– Quel est le message que vous voulez faire passer avec le film?

Ma première intention était de montrer qu’il existe différentes solutions un peu partout, et que ce n’est pas seulement dans de grandes agglomérations dont on parle beaucoup dans les médias qu’il est possible de réamorcer un retour à plus de nature en ville. Des solutions parfois très simples, parfois un peu plus longues mais qui montrent que la persévérance paie, comme à Genève avec le micro- jardin urbain du Grütli. Étonnamment, le film a eu un impact sur les personnes que j’ai interviewées. Elles sont très désireuses de communiquer et d’échanger des idées, ce qui m’a amenée à mettre le City Council de Lincoln en relation avec une structure de la Ville de Paris. C’est magnifique !

– Pouvez-vous laisser un message pour notre communauté Horyou?

Je pense que les initiatives qui partent des gens sont les plus intéressantes, les mieux adaptées, souvent les plus innovantes et les plus flexibles. La persévérance est un atout majeur quand il faut se confronter à la rigidité des institutions et du système (ou capitaliste ou libéral). Cependant, je crois que toutes ces avancées devraient un jour incomber aux gouvernements : ils doivent prendre leur responsabilité et notamment celle du bien-être des habitants.

Écrit par Vívian Soares

How to bring closer two cultures that are a distance away from each other, with a different background on a different continent? Horyou has met Gisselle Gallego, one of the organizers of SLAFF, the Sydney Latin American Film Festival, a cultural project that does it nicely. Have a seat, be comfortable and let the show begin:

SLAFF - Sydney Latin American Film Festival
SLAFF – Sydney Latin American Film Festival

1) What does SLAFF stand for?

The Sydney Latin American Film Festival (SLAFF) is a not-for-profit Film Festival launched in 2006 and is now a highly anticipated event on the Sydney cultural calendar. In 2016 it was named “the embassy of Latin American Cinema in Oceania” by LatAm Cinema Magazine.

SLAFF is run by a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers who aim to enrich the understanding of the lives and cultures of Latin America by screening a variety of typical stories. These films look back at the history of Latin America, as well as forward to the future, to tell stories from every corner of the continent, whether indigenous or totally modern.

2) How do you usually select the movies? What are the main components/criteria that matter?

In its selection, SLAFF chooses contemporary Latin American or International films relating to Latin America in terms of content, production or co-production. They include feature films, documentaries, animations, short films and videos produced in the last 2 years.

The films should be enjoyable and appeal to a broad spectrum of the community: young people, families, migrants or those with an interest in a particular topic. Our aim is to be inclusive and diverse. We hope to introduce and inspire new ideas and perspectives to our audiences through the films that we choose.

Some issues will always have a cultural significance to our audiences, but we also seek to highlight current events and issues. We try to determine how interesting the subject is by today’s standards and how relevant a film is in the current climate. To that end, the film should fit with or support the aims and objectives of SLAFF, i.e. encourage participation in the cultures and issues of Latin America beyond the mainstream lens.

Screening during the SLAFF
Screening during the SLAFF

3) How does your Community Support Program work?

Since 2006, SLAFF has raised over $116, 000 for social justice, human rights and development organisations in Latin America and Australia through our Community Support Programme. CSP is the cornerstone of the Sydney Latin American Film Festival and the main reason we work so tirelessly to maintain the festival’s success and momentum. Via ticket sales, SLAFF supports community development initiatives which strive to create positive change in the community by addressing social issues at a grass-roots level.

4) Since SLAFF was created, what are the memorable exploits/projects you accomplished and what are the biggest challenges you faced that you would like to share with us?

Since 2006 we have brought films from Latin America to people throughout Sydney. From the west via our Cine Barrio initiative to the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of the Fiesta Celebrations. In 2014 we launched Pachamama, a mini festival dedicated to explore our relationship and awareness of Land and Water by highlighting conservation efforts, indigenous stories and the continued fight for awareness of environmental issues from Latin America and Australia.

In 2015 we crossed a momentous milestone with our 10th Birthday, and we celebrated it by bringing together the SLAFF Family for a night of film, music and food. The journey into our second decade has not always been without challenges. As a not-for-profit, we rely on people power to maintain our momentum and we are really grateful to every single person who has helped SLAFF in any small way. Our network and community is what keeps us striving to bring the best to the festival.

Last edition of SLAFF
Last edition of SLAFF

5) Our philosophy is about universal values that we find in the slogan « Dream, Inspire, Act » what does it means to you and your organisation?

Horyou’s slogan “Dream, Inspire and Act” is a philosophy SLAFF identifies with. By becoming a part of this community we are able to experience and participate in the initiatives and ideas that are evolving across the globe. To be able to reach out to these organisations and individuals means we are playing our part in creating a conduit for positivity that can only get stronger the more people are involved.

Written by Hannah Nunes

Maison Des Arts Du Grutli

Written by Amma Aburam

On February 18, an HoryouTV documentary screening was held in Geneva at the Maison des Arts du Grutli. This was one of the five screenings held by the Horyou Geneva team. The event was a diverse gathering of around 50 people from the area for the showing of these four new HoryouTV documentaries: Tous a Table, ASCOVIME, Un Meilleur a Venir (A Better Future) and Hip Hop Saves Lives. Among the attendees were various organizations from Geneva such as EcoAttitude, One Action and Une Main pour le Lendemain (A hand for tomorrow). Personalities like artist Florentina Tintiris Keller, filmmaker Rui Noguiera and Atona Damachi from Ours Magazine were also present.

HoryouTV Screening The documentaries highlighted associations from various locations. In Paris, we saw Flavio Nervegna, who through his association, Tous a Table, organized the first gastronomical, musical and solidarity festival at Carreau du Temple (a covered market in the third arrondissement of Paris). From the South of France, a documentary about the association Un Meilleur a Venir following Jules Morain and Stephanie Pereira, two youths sharing their vision of bettering the lives of the homeless through concrete actions. We also virtually traveled to Cameroon with Doctor Georges Bwelle behind the association ASOVIME. Bwelle founded ASOVIME after dealing with his father’s sudden illness and realizing that it could have been prevented had they had the proper facilities. Bwelle became a doctor and with ASOVIME, he travels to rural areas to provide free medical care. Finally, we followed Hip Hop Saves Lives with Chad Harper in New York City, where he teaches kids humanity and history through hip hop music and dance.

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