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XR Youth: Internationalist Solidarity and Indigenous Voices

In partnership with Extinction Rebellion Youth and their Internationalist Solidarity Team we have curated a selection of short films that explore the link between the fight for climate justice and the fight for indigenous rights.

“The legacy of colonialism, combined with current forms of capitalism based on never-ending extractive growth is literally killing us. The reality is that 4 environmental defenders a week are being killed in the Global South. We in the Global North need to honour their work and join their struggles by also throwing our own bodies on the line.

“Ending domination over nature goes hand in hand with tackling all forms of domination and hierarchy. The struggle for climate justice is also the struggle for racial, gender, sexual and economic equality.”

Farhana Yamin, international environmental lawyer and climate change and development policy expert turned activist.

We first visit the Sungai Utik community in Indonesia as the impacts of climate change encroach their hard-won way of life. Kynan Tegar, 14 year old filmmaker then shows us a farming ritual in his community. Then we move to Panama as we learn about the links between culture and strong biodiversity and forests. Young filmmaker Ivan then explores the issue further; cultural erosion when communities are displaced. In Peru, we go back to 2014 following the lives of Ashnenika widows after the murder for 4 leaders by illegal loggers. We hear from Diana, who we then follow her powerful life as an activist to continue her father’s work. Finally, we watch Flay‘s film on protected their uncontacted cousins, the Awá peoples, and learn how deforestation puts their lives in danger.

“The extermination of biological diversity and of indigenous cultures…is part of one extinction, one interconnected war against life. Ecocide and genocide are one indivisible process, and they began with the idea of the colonisation of the Earth.”

Vandana Shiva, Eco-feminist and food sovereignty advocate

To watch more films made by young indigenous storytellers, visit this playlist.


The indigenous people of Sungai Utik, a Dayak Iban community in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, have maintained a strong traditional connection to their forests despite continuous pressure from logging and palm oil companies intent on taking their land. Their forests remain intact and their traditional values are keeping their community together. If we want to keep […]

Sungai Utik - Kalpataru & Equator Prize Winner

Filmed by young filmmaker Kynan Tegar.

From their 214-metre long house in West Kalimantan, the Dayak Iban have protected an estimated 1.31 million tons of carbon. For decades they have protected their 9,504-hectare customary forest against corporate interests, following the dictate that healthy nature is more important than monetary wealth. They have been awarded the 2019 Equator Prize.

Being Emberá

Reclaiming and strengthening indigenous culture is vital to maintaining ancestral connections to nature. This must be passed onto future generations by celebrating indigenous traditions. Embera youth are spearheading a cultural revival, after decades of assimilation, through traditional body painting and storytelling. Meanwhile sustainable community forestry initiatives are creating low impact income for communities that rely […]

Behind the Bayano

Film by Ivan Jaripio, indigenous filmmaker from the Embera community of Piriati, Panama. A hydroelectric power station was constructed in Panama in the 1970s – displacing indigenous Embera communities. Despite agreement from the state that their relocation would enable them to remake their lives through their traditions and customs, 40 years later they continue to […]

Ka'a Zar Ukyze Wà - Forest Keepers in Danger

Indigenous filmmakers from Midia India release documentary alerting to the grave situation faced by their uncontacted relatives the Awá Guajá, from the Araribóia indigenous territory, one of the most endangered in the Amazon. The Awá Guajá depend intrinsically on the forest for survival – for hunting, for gathering, for water. However, the forest in the […]

Burning the Bananal

Wildfires are increasing in their frequency and ferocity worldwide – they consume forests and destroy lives. Is there a more effective way to fight them? Fighting fire with fire Traditional fire management practices hold many answers. Controlled fires, which were widely banned by colonialist authorities, had long been used by indigenous peoples to maintain their […]

Justice For Saweto - 5 years on

Five years ago, Diana Rios’ father, an #indigenous leader & environmental defender, was murdered.
Diana has been fighting for justice ever since.
In December 2019 the accused finally go to court.

Why is it important?
The need to support the cause of Justice for Saweto is even greater today given the persistent harassment and murder of environmental defenders and Indigenous leaders across the Amazon.

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of these crimes go unpunished, which is why the successful prosecution of these murders is so important to the cause of environmental defenders across the Amazon and the world.

Follow the case #JusticeForSaweto