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Cancun 2003
6 Mar 2009
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Description

From September 10 to 14, the World Trade Organization (WTO) held its fifth ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico. Backed by multinational corporations, the United States, the European Union, and other developed countries attempted to launch a new round of free trade negotiations with the intent of expanding corporate globalization — and the effect of further eroding human rights, workers rights, indigenous peoples' rights, and environmental protections.

As the WTO met, a group of indigenous youth activists from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia assembled in Cancun. Our goal was to document the presence of indigenous peoples within the wider anti-globalization struggle. Using the camera as a tool for decolonization, our intent was to reclaimin a medium thats usually filled with stereotypical and demeaning images of indigenous peoples or has rendered us invisible.

Story Telling is one of the most powerful tools Indigenous Peoples’ have in the fight to preserve and protect traditional knowledge—and thereby their survival. It is a practical, yet symbolic act in which “knowledge and experience” is passed from an older generation to a younger one. In telling their stories, elders are able to share with youth the many lessons they have learned simply from living. In turn, youth are provided with rich and complex stories that often provide them with ways to ensure their cultural identity and survival.

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