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GeoStory Camps - Xingu Amazon Basin 

In partnership with the Kīsêdjê and Yudjá communities.

The first ever GeoStory Camps were carried out in the Xingu Amazon Basin with the Kīsêdjê and Yudjá Indigenous communities between October 29 and November 11, 2021, and between March 21 and March 30, 2022. 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.


Videography and cartography combined. 


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.

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GIS mapping 

Cartography and videography combined. 

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.

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Impact in numbers

The change we want to see.


 Kīsêdjê and Yudjá members are trained in filmmaking


Kīsêdjê and Yudjá members are

trained in geospatial mapping


Hectares of forest within the Xingu territory

will be preserved through court cases

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Evidence-based storytelling 

The fight for climate justice continues.

Phase I : Skill-based 

As the GeoStory Camps include different interwoven methodologies, it is therefore initiated in different phases. The first phase is structured through a skill-based curriculum covering the basics of filmmaking and geospatial mapping. Currently this stage has been finalized in the Xingu Amazon Basin with the Kīsêdjê and Yudjá Indigenous communities. 

Litigation phase

The finished film and mapping content created by the Indigenous participants of the GeoStory Camps will be used as proof of evidence in court cases to protect Indigenous land with the help of local environmental lawyers. 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.

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. This phase is structured through a human rights toolkit, which links filmmaking and mapping to human rights in concrete terms. It provides participants with the key rights through which storylines can be defined to create impactful evidence-based stories that tie directly back to the Indigenous rights and claims that have been violated. 


Successful court cases that use film and mapping content created during the GeoStory Camps and after by GeoStory Camps participants will preserve around 2,642,000 hectares of Indigenous forest within the Xingu Indigenous territory. 

Project progress 

Seedlings sprouted. 

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Phase I

Phase II



Working group

Indigenous-led multi-stakeholder working group. 

Together with our partner Indigenous association, Associação Indígena Kīsêdjê, we have established 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 working groups consist of multiple stakeholders and experts within the realm of filmmaking, geospatial mapping, environmental and criminal law and Indigenous leaders who are able to work on even footing and will assure that the introduction of film and spatial technologies unfolds in a truly participatory manner, that the content produced will successfully serve as evidence in courts against environmental destruction, and that the impact process is being continuously assessed and monitored.   

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Monitoring, evaluation, and learning

We learn as we grow.

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Monitoring, Evaluation, & Learning

GeoStory Camps - Xingu


Local Partners

Funding Partners 

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