U.N. Salutes Indigenous Filmmakers

, by IPS

The United Nations celebrated the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People this week by showcasing award- winning short films produced by indigenous filmmakers and reaffirming indigenous rights and cultural treasures.

The day was observed at the New York headquarters of the U.N. Monday, marking the midpoint of the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.

As proclaimed by the General Assembly, the goal of the decade is the further strengthening of international cooperation to solve problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment and social and economic development.

This year’s theme is indigenous filmmaking, which ties in with the theme of the current session of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), ’Development with Culture and Identity’.

Through the expressive medium of film, indigenous filmmakers opened the window into their lives for the wider audience.

"We’re such a visual community today, people read about things but they forget. Film allows you to… almost delve into other people’s world. It is a great way of communicating people’s stories," Alex Zacarias, director of "Taíno Indians: Counted out of Existence", one of the four films screened on this special occasion, told IPS. Read more