Telling the Siekopai Story with Jimmy Piaguaje Part 5
What made you study film and media?
'I decided to study audiovisual production primarily because nowadays there are many tools in the struggle. Previously, my ancestors fought with spears and arrows to defend their territory. In the current day, everything has changed, the communication media is very important, as it is via these means that messages are transmitted.
I realised that my people needed their message to be communicated with the whole world, about their suffering. Until now, all the injustice that has taken place within indigenous communities, for my people, this history has only been stored within the memories of the elders, the stories of their reality, of their experiences. It wasn’t registered anywhere else.
This made it difficult to take legal action against these injustices, for example. That is why community cinema is such an important tool.'
In this 10 part series BCC had the privilege to interview Jimmy Piaguaje, co-founder of our 2021 chosen charity SËRA Foundation. A youth leader of the Secoya Remolino community and Siekopai Nationality Jimmy lives in the Ecuadorian Amazon surrounded by oil exploitation and oil-palm monoculture plantations. In response to this existential threat, Jimmy and his community have developed innovative projects to document ancestral shamanic knowledge and created environmental youth workshops to ensure this wisdom is passed on from their elders. Here we listen to their story and join them in the next phase of their journey in protecting their lands and future.