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By Tracy L. Barnett Posted in Indigenous Peoples, Social Change on November 20, 2023
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Good news! After three long years of labor, we have finally launched Legacy of the Andes, the long-awaited second part of our Cosmology & Pandemic transmedia series. You can now rent or purchase the film for a nominal fee at the Cosmology & Pandemic site, HERE. All proceeds go to support our transmedia work to elevate the voices of our Indigenous wisdom keepers and land defenders, and changemakers throughout the Americas.

Para leer este artículo en Español ve a EL LEGADO DE LOS ANDES YA ESTÁ DISPONIBLE

This is one of the 1-minute teasers for our film that is being used in the social media campaign and on the website. (Image from Cosmology & Pandemic: Legacy of the Andes / The Esperanza Project)

Give yourself the gift of sitting down and watching this film. Once you see it, you’ll understand why Hernán and I have risked everything for this three-year project. You may find yourself, like the bestselling author, Wiraqocha Foundation founder and Q’eros wisdom keeper Elizabeth Jenkins, “laughing and crying at the same time… FABULOUS FILM! You guys did an amazing job. This is EXCELLENCE! I am ready to pull out all the stops to promote this.”

The Esperanza Project, together with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and The One Foundation, spent three years working to produce Legacy of the Andes. This epic journey through six ancestral cultures, beginning at the height of the recent pandemic and continuing to the present day.

Portraying rare and intimate footage from isolated communities like Hatun Q’ero, Peru, where the last direct descendants of the Inka live much as they have for millenia, the hour-long film uses the recent pandemic as a springboard for Indigenous perspectives on our current civilizational crisis.

Filmed in six emblematic Indigenous communities, an ancient archaeological site, and major cities in Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador, Legacy of the Andes helps us to see how traditional lifeways and worldviews hold the key to a shift towards Buen Vivir, or Good Living, an Andean concept that elevates the wellbeing of the planet and all that surrounds us as a major consideration in our quality of life. The protagonists’ critique of Western civilization is an urgent wakeup call to viewers and readers to radically shift our priorities and our way of life before it’s too late.

Elizabeth is indeed pulling out all the stops, preparing to present a special screening of our film at 6 p.m. on Nov. 30 at 243 Yoshihiro Uchida Hall, San José State University, along with Don Martín Q’espi, one of the world’s last Altomisayoq, a high priest of the Q’ero people, the last descents of the Inka. Please let us know if you can help us get the word out and we’ll send you all the materials you need.

Our Latin America premiere took place within the framework of the XV International Congress on Wildlife Management of Amazonia and Latin America at the University of Magdalena, Santa Marta, Colombia on Nov. 22.

Entrance procession and opening of the Festival of the Virgin of the Snows in the Kallawaya territory Jathun Ayllu Amarete, municipality of Charazani, in the Bautista Saavedra province of the department of La Paz, Bolivia. (Image from Cosmology & Pandemic: Legacy of the Andes / The Esperanza Project)

Every day, we are publishing posts, stories and reels, often in two languages, on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. If you have accounts in any of these platforms and can go check out our posts and like, comment and share, it would be very helpful; grassroots media promoting issues like ours have an uphill battle in the current media environment, and believe it or not, every thumbs-up, every comment no matter how small, every share with your friends makes a difference. Our social media platforms are below, if you have trouble finding us.

In addition to the film, the series includes six in-depth articles taking us deeper into the lives, perspectives and values of each of the communities, as well as a downloadable 50-page book providing greater context into the lessons learned during the pandemic that share with us practical wisdom to improve our lives in the short term, while preparing for the massive changes that they warn us are coming soon. 

The series was created with the help of local and Indigenous film producers and journalists on-site and coordinated by directors Hernán Vilchez in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Tracy L. Barnett in Guadalajara, Mexico. At the height of the crisis, Barnett and Vilchez reached into more than 20 indigenous communities in six South American countries. Thanks to modern communication technology, they were able to find, empower and work remotely with local teams to tell their stories of resilience and healing.

Vilchez, a professional filmmaker with two decades’ experience working with Indigenous communities around the world, teamed up with Barnett, a veteran environmental and human rights journalist, during the production of the internationally acclaimed 2014 film Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians. Together the two formed the nonprofit to support the work of The Esperanza Project magazine (founded in 2009 to cover social change initiatives throughout the Americas) and Esperanza Project TV (founded in 2014 as an international interdisciplinary team producing awareness-raising films and series).  

The Legacy of the Andes is the second of this three-part transmedia series. Part I, The Body as Territory, was filmed and reported in three Indigenous communities in Colombia and released in October 2021 at the height of the pandemic. Work has already begun on Part III, Revelation of the Amazon, likewise has local and Indigenous producers offering interviews and intimate views of original communities throughout Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru from the early months of the pandemic to the present day. 

Follow us, if you can, at any or all of these platforms:
@TheEsperanzaProject (FB)
@the.esperanza.project (Instagram)
@Esperanzaprojec (X/Twitter)
@the.esperanza.project (TikTok)
@esperanzaproject (YouTube)

* Legacy of the Andes and the rest of the Cosmology & Pandemic series is free in Latin America as a form of reciprocity with the communities who received us and shared their stories. It is available for a nominal fee outside of Latin America in order to generate funding to finish this series with Revelation of the Amazon and continue the work of documenting our Indigenous wisdom keepers and land defenders.

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