GeoStory Camps - Xingu

GeoStory Camps - Xingu
Play Video

The first ever GeoStory Camps are carried out in the Xingu Amazon Basin with the Kīsêdjê and Yudjá Indigenous communities between October 29 and November 11, 2021. Living in one of the world's most biodiverse areas, the Kīsêdjê and Yudjá Indigenous communities face widespread land grabs, that threaten their livelihoods, as well as our planet's biodiversity and climate. The borders of their territories are on the frontline of deforestation. 


Between March and April 2021, the forest in Brazil’s Xingu River Basin has been cleared at a terrifying rate of hundred and ninety-six trees per minute. A total of 29,191 hectares of rainforest was lost - an area twice the size of New York City. The deforestation recorded during that time is 40% higher than during the same period last year.


Evidence-Based Storytelling

Participants of the GeoStory Camps started to learn a variety of technological, media, and narrative skills through different modules covering the basics of filmmaking and geospatial mapping.

Students learn how filmmaking tools, such as interviews, B-roll or drone footage and spatial data, can be used to strengthen Indigenous rights claims and serve as powerful evidence in court against deforestation.

Evidence gathered by the communities in the form of videos and geospatial data will be used in court cases with the help of local environmental lawyers, preserving around 2,642,000 hectares of Indigenous forest within the Xingu Indigenous territory.

Impact In Numbers

Xingu Amazon Basin


Indigenous community members from the Kīsêdjê and Yudjá are trained in



Indigenous community members from the Kīsêdjê and Yudjá are trained in

geospatial mapping.


Hectares of forest within the Xingu territory will be preserved through court cases that fight for environmental



During the first days, filmmaking students started to learn a variety of media and narrative skills including storyboarding, producing shotlists and other pre-production activities. Following the first days, students started to learn the important functions of a 4k video camera and supporting equipment, as well as the theory and practice of how to record the best footage and sound possible in every condition (shot sizes, composition and techniques).

Additionally, we have covered a full lesson on how to operate a drone. Finally, participants received training about interview techniques. All this knowledge was used by the students to produce a short video covering a social topic of their choice.


GIS Mapping

The cartography students started to learn basic mapping skills, including the use of GPS devices and spatial databases. During the workshop, students learned to store detailed maps of ancestral rainforests into geographic information systems, specifically ArcGIS. This allowed the communities create a basemap to define their territories.

Furthermore, participants started using spatial data on deforestation and fire detection as additional layers on top of their basemap. The lessons covered how to analyze spatial data such as tree cover loss in near-real time, fire alerts (updated every 24 hours) and detect emerging hot spots to identify significant clusters of primary forest loss within their territory.

GeoStory Camps - Xingu.jpg

The Fight For Climate Justice Continues

Recently, several Indigenous communities have won court cases regarding their rights and successfully protected their forest territories from land invaders using storytelling techniques. These successful cases set a precedent for the future regarding the priorities of Indigenous communities, building a framework that protects Indigenous forest territories. The GeoStory Camps will contribute to this shift.

Our ultimate goal is to enable our partner communities to document the human rights violations and forest destruction through evidence-based stories that would be used in court to protect up to 5,052,300 hectares of Indigenous land over the next four years.

Local Partners









Tribal Stories  

Tribal Stories is an online evidence-based storytelling platform.


It hosts the videos and spatial data gathered by the trained Indigenous communities who are on the frontline of deforestation in an accessible story-map format.

The goal of Tribal Stories is to further educate an international audience on the threats faced by Indigenous peoples to their land, culture and continued existence, and to show the value of equipping Indigenous peoples with the skills and opportunities to tell their own stories on their own terms.