Putting the tools in the hands of future Indigenous leaders.
The GeoStory Camps is a People’s Planet Project initiative transferring the fundamental skills and tools in videography and geospatial mapping to Indigenous communities who are on the frontline of a dangerous fight against deforestation and human and environmental violations.
By using film and geospatial data as a medium of witnessing, communication, and activism, the GeoStory Camps address two interconnected problems faced by Indigenous communities:
An infringement of their environmental and human rights by continued deforestation and destruction of their land.
A pattern of outside representation of Indigenous peoples and issues.
Phase I & II
The GeoStory Camps in phases.
This initiative is a novel way of using a multimedia approach and combining the powerful tools of film, spatial data, and Indigenous rights advocacy to achieve systemic change on Indigenous customary law and the preservation of forests. As the GeoStory Camps include different interwoven methodologies, it is therefore initiated in two different phases.
Phase I: skill-based.
The first phase of the Camps is structured through a skill-based teaching curriculum on the basics of filmmaking and geospatial mapping offered in the local language to young Indigenous community members in collaboration with the affiliated Indigenous associations, local filmmakers and geospatial analysts who act as teachers, facilitators, and mentors for the Indigenous students. This phase consists of a 12-day intensive workshop on both the use of video technology and geospatial data. After the completion of the 12-day workshop, Indigenous participants will have the ownership of the video and GIS equipment for the most effective documentation and storage.
After the completion of the skill-based phase of the GeoStory Camps, People’s Planet Project collaborates with our partner Indigenous associations to establish an Indigenous-led multi-stakeholder working group. This working group will lay the basis for the remaining phases of the project that endeavors to find the best strategy to use the skills in mapping and videography as effective and successful tools to be used in future litigation.
The GeoStory Camps allow Indigenous peoples to document accounts of
environmental rights violations in real-time, and put the ownership of the stories and data
on deforestation in the hands of Indigenous groups who are most affected by it.
Phase II: evidence-based.
The second phase continues with an advanced workshop, which provides context to the previously learned film and geospatial mapping through evidence-gathering techniques and local human rights and environmental law. The goal of this workshop is to transfer a basic understanding of the international and local human rights tools that underpin Indigenous rights, as well as the institutions through which Indigenous communities can fight to attain or protect those rights.
Indigenous participants will learn how individual filmmaking tools, such as interview, B-roll or drone footage, can be used to strengthen rights claims. They will explore how cartography tools and geospatial data can be utilized from an Indigenous perspective, asking questions such as ‘how should environmental damage be captured and presented to serve as powerful legal evidence?’
Litigation phase and preservation.
Our theory of change links Indigenous-created content to decision-making spaces, thus allowing Indigenous peoples to claim a space within established legal contexts in order to make their voices heard and fight for their rights in courts on their own terms.
We take Indigenous-created and -collected films and geospatial data to the national legal sphere, by beginning court cases to protect Indigenous land and using the content as proof of evidence. People’s Planet Project has partnered with local environmental lawyers, who will help us and the Indigenous communities begin court proceedings.
Following the lead of the partner Indigenous communities, we help identify the parameters and goals of the legal case to be started. We support in gathering and filling out paperwork, and ensuring all the film and mapping content is powerful and relevant.