Popularizing the Fight for Indigenous Rights: How Using Films and Images Can Shift Public Opinion and Change History

MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, Fall 2011 Lecture Series:  Zones of Emergency: Artistic Interventions – Creative Responses to Conflict & Crisis

Keynote: Tess Thackara, Director, Survival International (USA)
Respondent: Ute Meta Bauer, ACT Director & Associate Professor, MIT (USA)

Monday, September 26 at 7:00 PM, Bartos Theater at MIT, Wiesner Building (E15), Lower Level – Free and open to the public

This lecture explores the work and methodology of human rights group Survival International, with a particular focus on the group’s efforts to generate a groundswell of support for tribal people all over the world. Using Survival films and campaigns as case studies, the lecture will focus on the need to popularize the narrative surrounding indigenous land rights. Tess Thackara directs the USA office of Survival International, whose major campaign successes include the Indian government banning aluminum giant Vedanta Resources from mining the sacred lands of the Dongria Kondh tribe in 2010, and the High Court of Botswana’s affirming the Bushmen’s right to access water on their ancestral lands in 2011.

The “Zones of Emergency: Artistic Interventions – Creative Responses to Conflict & Crisis” Fall 2011 lecture series investigates initiatives and modes of intervention in contested spaces, zones of conflict, or areas affected by environmental disasters. The intention is to explore whether artistic interventions can transform, disrupt or subvert current environmental, urban, political, and social conditions in critical ways. A crucial question is how can such interventions propose ideas, while at the same time respecting the local history and culture.

More information at the Zones of Emergency Blog: http://zonesofemergency.mit.edu/