Defensora – October 8th

2014/2015 Season Premiere

Defensora poster_Victoria  jpg version 1

Co-presented with the Victoria Mining Justice Action Committee (MJAC).

If you want to register your mining company in a country that has the least amount of encouragement or regulations for acting responsibly and cooperatively towards the peoples and the ecology near your mine, pick Canada!

“Defensora” is a documentary about Mayan Q’eqchi resistance against mining in Guatemala.  Set along the shores of Lake Izabal, this is a timely film that provides candid insights into the brave struggles of the men and women in El Estor, Guatemala who, faced with the violence, intimidation, poor health and forced evictions that Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals has brought about in their home and ancestral lands, have now brought their battle for justice to the Canadian courts.

After the film there will be an opportunity to have a discussion and ask questions hosted by 3 members of MJAC.  Kay Gimbel is on the executive of the B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers Union, representing about 500 ships officers across the province.  He travelled to Guatemala earlier this year with a mining justice delegation led by Rights Action.  Kay visited several mining sites including the mining impacted community of El Estor and met many of the people who are depicted in this film.  Janet Gray is an active member of MJAC and KAIROS.  She has organized film and discussion events and other social justice projects and she participated actively in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  Janet has also visited Guatemala and will bring first hand experience to the current tensions involved with mining companies there.  Heather Tufts is a social justice activist, citizen journalist and independent researcher.  She is an active member of MJAC and has organized many events and programs.  As an educator Heather believes in the “learning and research for change” model and has engaged with grassroots movements and indigenous communities for many years.

Now that we in B.C. have had a glimpse of the irresponsibility of mining companies and the blind eyes of the government towards them with the Mt. Polley tailings pond spill, this precedent-setting court case is all the more relevant to us in Canada.  So far there have been no murders and rapes such as happened in El Estor, but the killing of an ecosystem is surely also a criminal act.

 

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A (VIDEO) EVENING WITH CHARLES EISENSTEIN May 14, 2014

2013/2014 Season Finale

AFN-May2014
A (VIDEO) EVENING WITH CHARLES EISENSTEIN
Author of “Sacred Economics – Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition” and “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible”.

Some quotes from Charles:

“We sense that ‘normal’ isn’t coming back, that we are being born in to a new normal: a new kind of society, a new relationship to the Earth, a new experience of being human.”

“Another way of being is possible and it is right in front of us, closer than close….yet it slips away so easily that we hardly believe it could be the foundation of life; so we relegate it to an afterlife and call it Heaven or we relegate it to the future and call it Utopia.  Either way we set it apart from this world and this life and thereby deny its practicality and its reality in the here-and-now.  Yet the knowledge that life is more than Just This cannot be suppressed.  Not forever.”

“What has rendered us helpless to resist the ugliness, pollution, injustice and downright horror that has risen to engulf the planet in the last few centuries?  What calamity has so resigned us to it that we call this the human condition?  Those moments of love, freedom, serenity, play – what power has made us believe these are but respites from real life? …….Underlying the vast swath of ruin our civilization has carved is not human nature, but the opposite: human nature denied.”

 No speakers this month…..just our usual discussion to follow.  A time to ponder and share our thoughts and feelings before we adjourn for the summer months.


Postscript:

Hello all………….Some thoughts on the topic of money and sacred economics from one of last night’s moviegoers:  we could increase “gift economy” in Sooke by increasing participation in www.streetbank.com.  Streetbank is a sharing and exchange program that connects people within 10km. of their home with their neighbors through an online network.  It is a way to share and exchange items, services and information (such as “bear alert”) as well as getting to know your neighbors. She noted: “It is a lovely marriage of using the internet to create community”.Also, Sooke’s Transition Town group is always working with creating a more sustainable and resilient community.  Ideas and new members are most welcome.  www.transitionsooke.org, 

To find the 22 minute talk by Charles that wouldn’t play last night, or if you missed the film night, here it is:

http://charleseisenstein.net/project/a-new-story-of-the-people-charles-eisenstein-at-tedxwhitechapel/

 

It is a lovely summary of what he is talking about and a lovely summary of what I was hoping to bring to the season finale…..a sense of finding our way in this often frustrating and chaotic transition time between the old paradigm that we have all been brought up in, one defined by competition, hierarchy, force and division and a new way of being on the planet, guided by our hearts rather than our brains, one which we cannot yet clearly see.

 

Heartfelt thanks to those who have helped out over the season:  Sarah Staskiel our fantastic tech who has been great to work with, Lyra Hindrichs who downloaded films for us and also was a sub for Sarah on the night when all the new theatre equipment was not getting along with each other, Stephen Hindrichs who has created the eye-catching posters every month, Mary Brooks at MapleLine Business Centre who printed them for only the charge of the ink, Jeff Bateman, our man on the AFN Facebook page, Bryan and Susie at Video To Go who mind the AFN library for no charge because they feel it is an important thing for the community, Deb Harper, creator of and helper for the website and Twitter account, George McFetridge AFN table and donation can manager, Reta Vasey at the EMCS Program office who has often gone above and beyond the call of duty to make sure the evening goes smoothly, the District of Sooke for their generous grant for a new projector and towards the new soundboard in the theatre and to all of you who have made this the best season yet.

 

If you find that you need an Awareness Film Night fix over the summer, remember that there is a whole slew of documentary films to rent for a mere $3 in the AFN library at Video To Go in Sooke.  A list of the films can be found at www.awarenessfilmnight.ca

Have a great summer.  Hopefully you will have many chances to get out into the beauty and serenity of the natural world we are so fortunate to have around us here on Vancouver Island. 

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What’s Fracking? April 9, 2014

afn_April_2014photo courtesy of Eugene Richards

Co-presented with Sierra Club of B.C.

The evening will feature 3 short films about fracking.   What exactly IS fracking and how do fracking wells work?  Can anyone just drill fracking wells anywhere in the countryside?  Is liquified natural gas (LNG) really a “clean energy”?  Is the information we are being given about fracking and LNG by the fracking industry and governments around the world, including here in B.C. a complete picture?

After the films we will have an opportunity to learn more about what is going on with fracking and other extractive fuel processes here in B.C. from Caitlin Vernon who is the Coastal Campaigner with the Sierra Club of B.C.  Caitlin has a BSc. in Biology and a Masters in Environmental Studies.  Since 2007 she has been working to protect the Great Bear Rainforest, support community-based First Nations’ monitoring initiatives and keep the B.C. coast free from tar sands pipelines and tankers.

We will also hear from Terry Dance Bennick who is coordinating a Victoria Healing Walk to be simultaneous to the annual Healing Walk that takes place in Alberta.

Finally, there will be a presentation by the District of Sooke of their draft Community Energy Emissions Plan (CEEP), developed with support from B.C. Hydro, which looks at the energy and emissions data (such as transportation, building basics and waste management) for the community and outlines an action plan.

The evening will conclude with a question and answer period where moviegoers will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback for all 3 presenters.

 

 

 

 

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Farming and Gardening Gala March 12

saveourfarmland

Farming and Gardening Gala March 12

   Co-presented with Sooke Food CHI

           “Preserving Farmland”

The evening will feature 3 short films:  “Hands Off the ALR Townhall Meeting” held in Sidney in November, “Growing Farmers” and “Hands in the Dirt”.

Post screening discussion with Kimi and Kareno, featured in “Hands in the Dirt”, Javier Ojer of Dandy Shots Productions, filmmaker, who co-produced “Hands in the Dirt”, Nathalie Chambers of the Farmland Protection Coalition and Mary Coll and Mary Alice Johnson of the newly formed Sooke Region Farmland Trust. 

Kimi and Kareno have been a part of the Saanich Organics growers, Richmond Sharing Farm and Kwantlen University Farm School.  They are now residents of Finn’s Slough on the banks of the Fraser where they grow organic veggies for Richmond and Vancouver on Sweetdigz Farm.  Kimi and Kareno are young and energetic and are farmland activists with “Farm Watch”.  They will share with us their passion of “urban farming” and farmland stewardship.

The Farmland Protection Coalition is a grassroots organization of groups and individuals committed to protecting farmland and supporting farmers and food systems in the Capital Region and across B.C.  They recently organized a rally on Family Day in Victoria attended by 1500 people in support of maintaining the Agricultural Land Reserve as it is rather than stripping it of its jurisdiction and teeth as is being tossed about by the B.C. government.

The Sooke Region Farmland Trust has been created to assist in acquiring and preserving land for farmers to work who cannot afford to buy farming acreages in our area and to advance community awareness, local resilience and participation in food security.  “High land values, vanishing ALR land and the loss of processing and distribution infrastructure have undermined local food systems.  The trust’s objective is to enrich Sooke as a place to live, work, raise families and share organic, GE-free food”,  says Mary Coll of InishOge Farm in Sooke and one of the trust’s founding board members. Founded in the summer of 2013, this is the area’s first farmland trust.  Find out about what this means and how you can be a part of it.

The evening will also include:

*  Tables in the foyer with a variety of information on farming and gardening for all ages plus local produce and products made from locally grown ingredients for sale.

*  Tea and gourmet cookies featuring local ingredients made by the Culinary Arts students at EMCS. Bring a mug.

*  Door prizes of garden gift baskets.

(Don’t forget to bring some cash for the cookies and the locally grown produce and products….supporting our local economy!)

7-9:30


POSTSCRIPT:

The Farming and Gardening Gala was…..well…………..a gala.

The gardening enthusiasm was palpable.  There were great farming/gardening products to buy and learn about and most yummy lavender, mint and nettle cookies and herb tea to refresh us. We heard some informed, passionate and eloquent speakers voicing concern about vanishing farmland and farmers here in Sooke and on the Island and, in fact, all over the world. We were encouraged to approach elected officials on all levels of government about the absolute necessity of not only preserving farmland but also of creating avenues for purchasing farmland when it comes onto the market in order to stem the hemorrhaging of arable land that has been going on for the past decades, especially notable in Sooke according to provincial stats.

The short films “Hands Off the ALR Townhall Meeting on Farmland Protection” and “Growing Farmers” are available to watch on the internet. “Hands in the Dirt” will be making the rounds of film festivals so keep an eye peeled if you missed it at the film night (one of its premier screenings).

For anyone wanting more information on Farm Watch BC, the organization that panelists Kimi and Kareno are involved with, go to www.farmwatchbc.blogspot.ca and the Farmland Protection Coalition that panelist Nathalie Chambers was representing can be found at www.farmlandprotection.ca. The Sooke Region Farmland Trust can be reached at their website www.sookefarmlandtrust.weebly.com or on facebook.

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Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle – Feb 12, 2014

Kuper Island

“Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle”

They called it Alcatraz.  It was the Kuper Island Residential School and it stood on a remote island off the coast of Vancouver Island.  For almost a century hundreds of Coast Salish children were sent to Kuper Island where they were forbidden to speak their native language, forced to replace their cultural heritage with the Anglo-Christian culture and often faced with physical and sexual abuse.  Some died trying to escape on logs across the water.  Many more died later, trying to escape their memories.  Metis filmmaker Christine Welsh and Peter C. Campbell join survivors of the school, 20 years after its closure, as they embark on an extraordinary healing journey.

Traditional welcome by T’sou-ke Nation Chief Gordie Planes and Elder Shirley Alphonse.

Film Producer Peter Campbell will be attending the screeningPost screening discussion and slide show will include residential school survivors Alex Nelson and Belvie Brebber.  Alex went to St. Michael’s School in Alert Bay run by the Anglican Church and Belvie went to the Kuper Island school discussed in the film.  Elder Shirley Alphonse will bring healing words and will offer smudging to anyone attending.  And she will explain what smudging is. Carey Newman will speak about his Witness Blanket art project www.witnessblanket.ca  Members of the audience who would like to share stories of his or her time at a residential school are encouraged to do so.  For everyone else, no action required.  A time for listening.

 

POSTSCRIPT:
The Feb. 12 evening on residential schools was very moving and very beautiful. There were around 150 people there and many had journeyed from other places in the region to sit with this story of children plucked from their homes and transplanted into a foreign, regimented and generally inhospitable environment to try and grow, and the effects it has had on them and on future generations. Many thanks to Edith Newman for bringing the evening together and to T’sou-ke Chief Gordie Planes, Elder Shirley Alphonse, Carey Newman (www.witnessblanket.ca), Peter Campbell, Belvie Brebber and Alex Nelson and everyone else who added his or her voice to the remarkable conversation that happened before and after the screening.
And to all who came and listened and gave space.

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