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Ecocide or Good Living – A Circle of Dialogue

Round-table dialogue to campaign for an international law to criminalise ecocide

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Dan Baron, co-mediator and international organiser of the Good Living Forum, Instituto Transformance, Marabá, Pará, Amazônia, sent LAB this video. It records a round-table dialogue to expand the world campaign for a new international law to criminalise ecocide.

Against a backdrop of dramatic photographs of environmental destruction in the Amazon, indigenous leaders including Alessandra Korap Mundurukú, NGO speakers and activists denounce the role of the Brazilian government in undermining or destroying the laws and institutions so painstakingly constructed in Brazil to provide some protection for the environment and for those who defend it.

The Circle of Dialogue also marked the anniversary of the killing on 24 May 2011 of the ‘Martyrs of the Forest’, Ze Claudio Ribero and María da Silva. Ze’s sister, Claudelice Santos, says:

‘They haven’t won and they won’t win: every year we see more and more movements like this, for us to continue demanding that our environment be better… it wasn’t easy before, with previous governments. But now they have found the way to destroy all the institutions of environmental protection and human rights. It is an absurd moment we are going through… here we are being treated as enemies of the state…. The environment itself is being massacred by the state. We need to pressure the Brazilian state to ratify the Escazú Agreement (adopted on 4 March 2018 in Costa Rica). So far Brazil has only signed, but not ratified it.’

Round-table participants were asked to address four key questions:

  1. How to defend the ‘natural rights’ of Mother Earth?
  2. How to defend the human rights of the Defenders of the Pan-Amazon?
  3. How to integrate Brazil into the world campaign for a law against the international crime of ecocide?
  4. How to popularise the ecological paradigm of Good Living as an alternative world community project?
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Amazon Diary

Dan Baron is a performance educator, living in the Amazonian afro-indigenous community of Cabelo Seco, Pará. After doctoral research into ‘theatre as education’ at Oxford University, Dan began his ‘transformance’ project in Manchester, moving to Derry in 1988, to the Rhondda in 1994. and, in 1998, to Brazil. Collaborations with at-risk landless, indigenous, trade union and school communities, generated collective performances, murals, sculptures, and in 2008, the Amazonian Rivers of Meeting project. In 2012, Dan co-founded its Community University of the Rivers with the AfroRaiz Collective. As Chair of the World Alliance for Arts Education (2006-10), and member of the World Social Forum international council, Dan advocated arts education for sustainable futures. Dan publications include ‘Theatre of Self-Determination’ (Derry, 2001), ‘Cultural Literacy’ (São Paulo, 2004), ‘Harvest in Times of Drought’ (Marabá, 2011), and numerous essays.

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