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Indigenous youth share their stories

Canadian film director, Atom Egoyan, with young Indigenous film makers [Chirapaq Centro de Culturas Indigenas del Perú]

In Peru, Indigenous youth are producing documentary-style films to share the traditional knowledge of their communities.

For the past three years, youth from Indigenous communities in Peru have produced a diverse collection of documentary films aimed at showing their culture and reality through the big screen.

The Canadian Embassy in Peru collaborated with Oxfam, Center for Indigenous Cultures (CHIRAPAQ) and Wapikoni Mobile to empower Indigenous youth in Quechua and Yáneshas communities.

Wapikoni Mobile, a non-profit organization from Canada, seeks to combat isolation, addiction and reduce the rate of suicide among First Nations youth through storytelling. 

The NGO empowers youth to develop artistic, technical, social, and professional skills through technological tools related to audiovisual production and music.

Wapikoni Mobile partnered with Oxfam to deliver storytelling workshops to raise public awareness about Indigenous peoples by building bridges and promoting cultural exchanges with non-Aboriginals.

Wapikoni also works with Indigenous organizations abroad by sharing their methodology, expertise and technology.

Community Storytelling

Over the past few years, three Canadians from Oxfam have worked closely with CHIRAPAQ to build up the technical capacities of CHIRAPAQ staff and more importantly, of the numerous Indigenous youth who have participated and produced various short documentaries.

CHIRIPAQ then travelled to the local communities and provided training on filming, editing, sound editing, and storytelling techniques, using the Wapakoni methodology.

“I asked myself, what are they doing? I started and I enjoyed it. They taught me how to operate the camera and what it was like to be there, giving your opinion on your community.” -Liz Margoth Taboada Tenorio, 15-year old Indigenous filmmaker

From profiling women-powered initiatives in the district of Laramate to documenting the challenges facing Santa Cruz de Pucaraccay residents in accessing water, electricity and education, these young filmmakers brought their community’s realities to a broader audience. 

The final films were presented at the Cine Foro – El mundo audiovisual de los pueblos indígenas. (Film Forum – the audiovisual world of Indigenous peoples). Selected films were also shown at other Indigenous film festivals in Latin America. 

Engaging through film

Canadian Oscar-nominated film director, writer, and producer Atom Egoyan travelled to Lima, Peru in August as the guest of honour at the 21st Lima Film Festival. The Canadian Embassy, in cooperation with Oxfam and CHIRAPAQ, invited Egoyan to screen four short films made by Indigenous youth in Peru.

The screenings were followed by a round table discussion in which Egoyan and the young film-makers compared experiences and shared their love of film. 

“The challenge of showing the fabric and the harvest, showing people who do things by investing a lot of their own spirit, forces us to fill the films with the same spirit. Filmmakers cannot be just observers. We must be able to work with the same level of detail as the artisan or the farmer. That’s what makes a movie special.”  - Atom Egoyan, Canadian film director, writer, and producer
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