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Posts from the ‘South America’ Category

Roberto Custódio and Fight for Peace Pack Powerful Punch

The London Olympics ended a little over a week ago. And now that the torch has been extinguished, the athletes have returned home and venues are being repurposed, all eyes are on Brazil as Rio de Janeiro prepares to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Undoubtedly, Rio is stunning. Considered one of the world’s great playgrounds, it’s an incomparable city. Rio often seems postcard perfect – bathed in bright sunshine, blue skies and tropical rainforests. It’s home to the pulsating rhythms of samba and “beautiful people,” enjoying the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana. However, there is another side to Rio that’s less glamorous and often tragic – its favelas – the slums perched high above the city, often occupying prime Rio real estate. Favelas have become synonymous with violence; random, unpredictable and yet expected. Case in point, 23 year old Afro-Brazilian Roberto Custódio. Roberto grew up in Complexo do Maré one of the most dangerous favelas in Rio. When he was 13, he witnessed his father’s death by one of the favela gangs. The tragic death left him devastated. Read more

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A Filmmaker’s Mission: Shining Light on Afro-Bolivian Invisibility

So, you want to make a documentary film. Should be pretty easy, right? Just grab your camera, shoot, edit and you’re done. Not so fast. The multi-layered processes associated with making a film tends to be a bit more complicated and peppered with lots of starts and stops, especially financing issues. Plus everything else imaginable and some things you just can’t imagine.

In the world of filmmaking, taking on the untold story, the unimaginable and the unthinkable are often what makes film projects so incredibly appealing. Capturing history — whether its life’s smallest moments or biggest events– is often the attraction.

New Yorker Sisa Bueno, an adventurous Latina of African descent and a self-described political junkie, is learning first hand about the starts and stops of filmmaking. As a graduate of the prestigious New York University Film School, Sisa admits, “I had the naïve thought that documentaries were much easier than traditional fiction films, which is completely untrue.” Read more

Gold Rich La Toma in Turmoil

Part One of Los Afro-Latinos La Toma Feature

Today’s headlines are focused on Colombia. Stories regarding the U.S. Secret Service’s prostitution scandal in Cartagena during last month’s Summit of the Americas have brought the South American country to the forefront of international news.

But the scandal you’re not hearing about revolves around La Toma, a small Afro-Colombian community in Cauca, a gold-rich, mountainous region in Colombia’s Pacific southwest. With the price of gold soaring, foreign mining companies are swooping in and forcing out the Afro-Colombian community that has inhabited La Toma for centuries and used small-scale mining for sustenance. Read more