Though Oregon is many thousands of miles away from Colombia, there are some common struggles. Namely, the impact of dams on indigenous and other communities who can no longer use the rivers in traditional ways. The Ríos Vivos Movement, a social movement of communities impacted by hydro-electric dams in Colombia, is joining forces with The Beehive Collective, an arts activist collective based out of Maine, to tour the Pacific Northwest, exploring dams' impacts through art and storytelling.
The Source recently chatted with one member of that tour, who goes by the name Entre Aguas, about what the groups hope to accomplish, and why they're taking a somewhat unconventional approach.
Source Weekly: Who and what is Pollinating Rios Vivos and why are you currently on tour?
Entre Aguas: It is a speaking and workshop tour that highlights the Ríos Vivos Movement of Colombia, the social movement of dam-impacted communities that struggle for the defense of their territories and rivers, the work of the Beehive's [cross-polination] process that collaborates with communities impacted by resource extraction in the use of arts, culture, and communications as strategies for land defense. [It will feature a] Beehive graphic of Mesoamérica Resiste, accompanied by photographs, short films, personal experiences, and stories about the communities in resistance we have been weaving relationships of mutual aid with over the last eight years in Colombia.
SW: How has the tour been thus far?
EA: The tour has been incredible. We have had the opportunity to share in a variety of communities with all sorts of people including universities, house parties, restaurants, community centers, indigenous communities, and resistance struggles.
SW: How have you and the other members found your way into doing something like this?
EA: Most members of the Beehive Collective were already social and environmental justice activists with a interest in art and dynamic learning processes, and who saw the strength of exploring complex global issues through graphic art as a cross-cultural communication and educational strategy.
Members of the Ríos Vivos Movement in Colombia all come from communities impacted by the construction of hydroelectric dams. We struggle to stop the creation of new dams, the taking down of the already existing dams, and change in the energy and extraction model that is being imposed globally.
SW: What is the motivation of Pollinating Ríos Vivos and what are the goals?
EA: The motivation of Pollinating Ríos Vivos is to create awareness about land and river defense struggles in Colombia as well as build relationships of solidarity and mutual aid with other land and river defense struggles along our tour route, as well as to fundraise for a cultural direct action and research tour across all the dam-impacted communities in Colombia.
SW: What should people expect to see at the show and what do you hope they will take away from it?
EA: People should expect to see the large cloth banners of the Beehive's latest graphic campaign, Mesoamérica Resiste, as well as original photographs, maps, and videos from frontline land-defense processes in Colombia.
Pollinating Ríos Vivos
8:30 pm, Wednesday, Nov. 11
Tin Pan Theater, 869 NW Tin Pan Alley
$5 suggested donation