The following article below was originally published by the People of Color Organize! blog:
At a time when the North Atlantic empires are on the decline, it is an exciting and hopeful time in Latin America! Now, for the first time, millions of Venezuelans have access to education, job training, housing, land, clean water, and health care.
Africans in Venezuela, Indigenous peoples, and women are gaining power and rights, while a high-profile land reform campaign is sweeping the nation, giving poor farmers access to land and opportunities. However, despite their overwhelming contribution to the everyday life and culture of Venezuela, African communities in Venezuela continue to face racial and economic divisions that prevail from the days of colonization.
Racism against Africans in Venezuela continues to perpetuate historically rooted class divisions and contributes to a lack of political participation in decisions that mostly affect them. Despite a legacy of centuries of colonialism, Africans in Venezuela are conquering new political spaces in government institutions while communities organize themselves from the bottom up to make sure guarantees are met.
The film will highlight:
- The history of slavery, racism, and economic inequality in Venezuela.
- The 3-day San Juan Festival to celebrate African heritage in the coastal area of Curiepe, Barlovento.
- Insiders view of government-sponsored health, education, and literacy programs aimed towards eradicating poverty in coastal communities.
- Venezuelan hip-hop groups which are intersecting with social justice to create new voices of youth leadership in barrios in Caracas and elsewhere.
- A comparison of conventional cacao plantations with organic agricultural cooperatives that are creating endogenous (“from within and below”) development in African communities in Venezuela.
- Talks with government representatives about the economic, social, and political integration of Venezuela, the rest of Latin America, and countries of the African continent.
Your contributions to this endeavor will provide the necessary equipment to produce a high quality, grass-roots documentary that will be available to the people for free. These items include:
- Camera and equipment
- Video editing software
- Travel and lodging expenses
- Donor premiums
The following is a list of reward levels for our contributors:
- $10: ex-producer credit and DVD copy with bonus features
- $25: ex-producer credit, access to daily journal (blog), autographed script (from all of us of course), and DVD copy with bonus features
- $50: ex-producer credit, access to daily journal (blog), autographed script (from all of us course), DVD copy with bonus features, and Special Gift from Venezuela.
Contributions will be accepted through May 31, 2012.
This documentary will destroy the popular myths that revolution is not possible. It will proffer real self-determination and democracy aided by the government, not dominated by the government. The struggles of Africans in Venezuela and their resistance links African and oppressed people all over the world. It provides a clear example of how elevating all segments of society can be the harbinger of a more just world.
This is YOUR movie and YOUR project, so let’s make it happen.