Colonialismo y Resistencia
“We have not had any corn for two years because there was no water,” says a resident of La Guajira in northern Colombia. The Cerrejón company mines hard coal there for the world market. The huge open-cast mine destroys the rivers, the health and thus the livelihoods of the Wayú and Afro-Colombian communities. The episode “Colonialism and Resistance” portrays the criticism of these people. They resist a “development model” that endangers their lives. Despite this, the Datteln 4 power plant in Germany went on line on 30.05.2020 and burns coal from Colombia. The film shows that people want and have to break through these colonial continuities.
Capitalism and Criticism
Hard coal arrives in the port of Hamburg and is mined about 6000 km further east in Russia. In the Kuzbass region in southern Siberia, entire landscapes and villages are blown up for open-cast mining. Who benefits from the destruction and what criticism is voiced against it? The film shows how people in Kuzbass defend themselves against the fatal effects of mining and the repression by the state. The film shows how people in Kuzbass defend themselves against the fatal effects of mining and the repression by the state.
Climate Justice and Solidarity
Spring 2020 in Germany: It’s dry, everyone knows about the consequences of the climate crisis. Nevertheless, the German government is negotiating a law to phase out coal in 2038. All those who are fighting for climate justice are clear: we need to phase out coal immediately, and no new unit at the Datteln hard coal-fired power plant may be connected to the grid this summer. The film shows how activists in Germany are working to stop coal imports. They protest in solidarity with all those people who defend their homes against mining in the mining regions.
About the project
Evelyn, Maria Fernanda, Andrea and Ramin had the idea to make the global coal supply chains and the resistance against them visible with a collaborative, international documentary film series. The motivation was primarily to make visible and audible what the situation is like in the mining regions, how people there are organizing against mining, and to hear what they are demanding locally and from us in the Global North.
In just a few months, they combined their different talents and experiences: Some have been advocating for coal phase-out for years and are having connections with people in Colombia. The others found their way to the climate justice movement recently and bring experience in film production.
We tied to the bonds of solidarity in the global movement for climate justice: The Russian NGO Ecodefense and Russian filmmakers shared existing footage with us. We received footage of the action organized by Ende Gelände and the Still Burning network (formerly the deCOALonize Europe action alliance) in February 2020. Finally we connected Colombian filmmaker Katherine with an activist from La Guajira, who became part of the collaborative project to make the film “Colonialism and Resistance.”
“We are part of the project to show what forms of colonization the people of La Guajira experience. The documentary is a portrait of the cruelty under which Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities live and how those women and men resist the imposed development model of mining,” said Katherine of the Colombian film team.
Thanks to this transnational collaboration, we were able to produce the films without flights around the world.
Still Burning – network against hard coal and neo-colonialism
“Still Burning – network against hard coal and neo-colonialism” is an association of people and groups who exchange information and actions on the topics of hard coal and neo-colonialism. For networking there is a mailing list (German & English) and since 2020 mainly online meetings in longer intervals.
As part of the Still Burning network, a German-language brochure, an English-language brochure, and the web series have been produced. After the web series was published, people in Colombia organized further actions and maintain the Spanish-language site, Ardiendo, with further information and drawings on decolonization and coal.
The network replaced the deCOALonize Europe action alliance in 2020 or rather was transformed into the Still Burning network. The alliance was founded by people in Germany who are active in the movement for climate justice and solidarity work with groups in Colombia and Russia, in exchange with international groups. Their goal was to raise awareness that the coal phase-out is not only a matter of climate justice, but also of breaking with colonial continuities. To this end, they organized actions in fall 2019 and spring 2020.
The films are licensed as Creative Commons. Among other things, this means that you can easily show the films at your (online) events! More information about the license “Attribution: Still Burning – Non-Commercial – Sharing under the same conditions 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) can be found here (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/).
Some people from Hamburg who are active in the Still Burning network have created a great “How to organize an event” and a presentation on hard coal. This makes it even easier to organize an event on hard coal!