Event Title

In the Name of Land, Life, and Community

Presenter Information

Zia Kandler, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center K209

Start Date

10-2-2015 1:30 PM

End Date

10-2-2015 2:50 PM

Abstract

This oral history project was inspired by women from three different Guatemalan communities that defend land, community, and life itself. These women fight for our common future; this struggle concerns us all. The voices of these women remind us that the lives of our children depend on the health of "mother earth." The future also depends on justice and love between human beings, and we seek to have our project contribute to this work and this future. This was manifested through using feminist and community-based participatory methodologies to guide our process and a strong commitment to responsible relationships. The first community is a community of indigenous midwives that works to maintain the health of their communities through their labor. At the same time, their work defends their culture by using ancestral methods and knowledge to guide childbirth, child care, and women's health. The second community is a community of ex-combatants from the Guatemalan civil war who now live communally on a farm where they grow coffee and structure diverse projects such as ecotourism. Their stories describe the challenges faced when striving to live in an equal, familial way within a capitalist society. The third community is a community of resistance against a gold mine that has invaded their land and communities. The three-year-long struggle is built upon the strength of inspiring women, men, and families that commit their time and lives to this resistance movement. Spreading these stories is its own form of participation. These stories are ones of hope, of inspiration. By spreading them, we are able to gain solidarity and, we hope, a wider world consciousness of the part that each one of us plays in the world scale.

Notes

Session I, Panel 2 - NARRATIVES: Stories & Histories

Major

Environmental Studies; Comparative American Studies

Project Mentor(s)

Janet Fiskio, Environmental Studies; Comparative American Studies

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Oct 2nd, 1:30 PM Oct 2nd, 2:50 PM

In the Name of Land, Life, and Community

Science Center K209

This oral history project was inspired by women from three different Guatemalan communities that defend land, community, and life itself. These women fight for our common future; this struggle concerns us all. The voices of these women remind us that the lives of our children depend on the health of "mother earth." The future also depends on justice and love between human beings, and we seek to have our project contribute to this work and this future. This was manifested through using feminist and community-based participatory methodologies to guide our process and a strong commitment to responsible relationships. The first community is a community of indigenous midwives that works to maintain the health of their communities through their labor. At the same time, their work defends their culture by using ancestral methods and knowledge to guide childbirth, child care, and women's health. The second community is a community of ex-combatants from the Guatemalan civil war who now live communally on a farm where they grow coffee and structure diverse projects such as ecotourism. Their stories describe the challenges faced when striving to live in an equal, familial way within a capitalist society. The third community is a community of resistance against a gold mine that has invaded their land and communities. The three-year-long struggle is built upon the strength of inspiring women, men, and families that commit their time and lives to this resistance movement. Spreading these stories is its own form of participation. These stories are ones of hope, of inspiration. By spreading them, we are able to gain solidarity and, we hope, a wider world consciousness of the part that each one of us plays in the world scale.