Wednesday, January 06, 2016

The Right to be Different: Struggle for Water and Identity in the Andes

In the parish of Licto, near Riobamba, in Ecuador, the indigenous population fought for its water. Indian peasants participated in the design, construction and organisation of the irrigation system. After more than 20 years the water finally reached the community. The story is told by Inés Chapi, an Indian woman, who came a long way from being oppressed and discriminated against to become a most respected irrigation organiser in the system.  In the Andes they call it blood of the earth, the source of life from which other life grows. Water, feeding the land as well as the imagination. Giving rise to rituals and myths, fueling tradition and culture. Ancient and modern conquerors of these highlands denied the indigenous people access to springs and rivers. Water became a source of conflict. And usually the Indians got a raw deal.

Based on: The Rules of the Game and the Game of the Rules’ by Rutgerd Boelens; Executive producer and scenario: Barend Hazeleger; Photography: Thom Deelstra; Sound recordist: Juio Gorck; Editing: Jan Pieter Tuinstra & Barend Hazeleger; Scientific research and Interviews: Rutgerd Boelens; Produced by Agrapen and Wageningen University (2003)

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