A film by Oliver Ressler
4K video, 20 min., 2023
After decades of failure to act on carbon emissions, the still-dominant Western democracies have finally committed to a model of transition towards renewable energy, but without significant reduction of these countries’ grossly excessive consumption levels. While some observers question whether this will ever lead to decarbonization of the world economy, it is unquestionable that the enormous quantities of raw materials required to build the new infrastructures will have devastating effects on those countries in the global South where raw materials are extracted.
Ecuador is one of the countries where transnational mining corporations constantly increase pressure for new extraction licenses, with complete disregard for the communities affected.
This film was made in Pacto, close to Ecuador’s capital Quito. The State granted mining concessions for gold, silver, and copper in a region designated by UNESCO as the world’s seventh biosphere reserve. In this biodiversity hotspot are some 270 species of mammals, 210 reptiles, 200 bird species and 130 amphibians, many endangered.
The film gathers voices of communities resisting the new round of extraction that would destroy their environment and livelihood. The “Quito sin mineria” campaign opposes mining projects and demands that the people of northwestern Quito be allowed to decide for themselves through public consultation whether or not they agree to mining in the region. The campaigners invoke ancestral sites of the Yumbo, KituKara and Inca peoples in their fight against the mining operations that destroy their land and water. Culture and nature come together to preserve forests endangered by mining. These endangered forests remove at least 266,000 tons of carbon from the atmosphere every year, significantly reducing global warming.
Director and producer: Oliver Ressler
Speakers (in the order of appearance): Mauricio Reyes, Vladimir Durán, Fanny Durán
Cinematography: Oliver Ressler
Editing: Enar de Dios Rodríguez, Oliver Ressler
Text: Matthew Hyland, Oliver Ressler
Color correction: Rudolf Gottsberger
Sound design and music: Vinzenz Schwab
Translations: Diliara Akhatova, Joe Keady
Special thanks to: Acción Ecológica, Nathalia Bonilla, Rosa Jijón, Francesco Martone, Mauricio Reyes,Enar de Dios Rodríguez
This film was produced in the framework of “Barricading the Ice Sheets”, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF: AR 526).