Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 1.54.38 PMFor this action project we were learning about how we can become better activists for positive social change. We were asked to pick an unnatural disaster that is happening around the world. Then we were asked to figure out a way we can help find a soultion to this problem. I decided to talk about the Awa-Guaja people of the brazilian forest. Since the 1600’s the Awa people have faced displacement and now genocide.

This entire project shocked me. It was sad to see that a culture in need is being treated this horrible. Doing this project aspired me to want to do more for the Awa people, hopefully in college i will get the chance to learn more about Indegenous cultures. For this project I had my friends and family watch two videos and respond with a sentence or two. It was a great feeling seeing all what my friends had to say about the topic. I was proud to enlighten them more about what is happening beyond the city of Chicago. I hope I grabbed their attentions and they want to further their investigation into the Awa people.

I asked my friends and family to watch these two videos:

Here are some of the reactions to the video:

“ It sounds really terrible. Greed is a powerful thing. It’s more powerful than many voices. And more powerful than laws. It’s more powerful than human life. It’s going to take a lot more than an email address to fix this problem. And even if it’s fixed, it’s probably not permanent. If there’s a hell, I’ll find satisfaction in knowing the greed driven folks are going to it.” – Mason G.

“These videos opened my eyes with people who suffer around the world. This tribe is suffering a lot of pain due to the logging industry and other people trying to make money at cost of their lives. I felt angry and sad for the indigenous tribe and want to know how we can help. How can we advocate for them? What are the current laws in that country that need to be addressed? I also want to hear the testimony of the people causing the damage. What kind of people are they, and why are they doing those acts? Thanks for opening my eyes. “ – Kenny B.

“I was moved by the videos in multiple ways: first, I feel a sense of belonging to the forests of the world in a primordial way — not because of being Brazilian, but because I feel that the land is mine and yours and of all… all that feel the sense of belonging instead of the sense of profiteering destruction. Becoming aware of the people that protect the forest is essential in a world that forgot that the very word Human comes from “Humus”, the living dirt, the land. Brasil means land of the Amber, a lot of Amber (“Brasa” in Portuguese); an unfortunate meaning, when you consider logging…  I wish it would be land of the green forests; or that the amber were a metaphorical phoenix with enough time to reforest itself.” – Carlos L.

“It’s really sad that they’re disregarded like that, but when you have all the money and all the guns, you get to make the rules. It’s not right, but that’s how businesses work and maximize their profits. They don’t think about how it effects others, they just think about their bottom line.”  – Erin W.

“The videos just remind me of how destructive Capitalism is to the world. Money can turn humans into monsters, focused on profit and profit only. Its really disheartening to think about the complete ignorance we have of this planets affairs when it comes to the people most directly effected by the out come of this broken system.” –Ethos F.

“I got the chills watching the men give first hand accounts of how the land is being robbed from them, and how intricately connected they are to the land. And the man’s account of his family being shot and killed made me cringe thinking about how unbelievable it is to me the dehumanization that is taking place. What a blind sense of superiority, of westerners over indigenous people, worshipping profit over human and natural life, greed over the Divine pulse of existence.” – Naima P.

“It is appalling that they are not only destroying the forest but killing innocent people.  The Awa depend on the forest for their livelihood.   Without it, where are they to go?  The Awa live peacefully and sustainably.  We can learn so much from them about sustainable forest management.  We cannot let loggers destroy the forest or its dwellers.” -Emily G.

“The fact that greed can fuel something so terrible makes me lose faith in humanity. These people are innocent, and deserve nothing less than the peace they ask for. The forest, people, and animals are sacred, and something needs to be done.” -Samuel M.

“Watching these short clips filled me with great amounts of sadness. This is similar to how the Spanish came and invaded the Americas, taking the lives of countless people who lived there peacefully before them. I hate to see that history is constantly repeating itself. Have we learned nothing from past event.” -Becca R.