Show: Indymedia Presents

Episode: 0363 Indymedia Presents The Abatwa.mpg

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Episode Description:

We are continuing to serialize "The Leader #17." This week we feature a piece by PepperSpray producer Patricia Boiko, initially released under her own label, Winning Pictures. "The Abatwa (Pygmies)" is the second in a series by Boiko. The first program examined the genocide in Rwanda, and how people heal from a horror like that.

This piece looks at the Abatwa people, better known in the US as the Pygmies. The Abatwa, who are the indigenous people of the region which is better known for its Hutus and Tutsis. The Abatwa people have suffered unspeakably and unnoticed by all except themselves.

Traditional hunters, they were kicked off their ancestral lands when that area was made into an animal preserve. The unintended consequence of an environmental victory was great destruction to Abatwa culture, and the loss of many lives.

Later, during the period of the Rwandan genocide, they lost 30% of their population. Nobody seemed to notice, because the Abatwa were not important to anybody but themselves.

The Abatwa are an example of the phenomenon feared by Subcomandante Marcos and the indigenous communities of the Chiapas region of Mexico, that of being so marginalized as a people that you just don’t matter any more.

Boiko traveled to Rwanda to capture the footage that makes up the bulk of this piece. Interestingly, she also found archival footage in the Prelinger Archive from the 1930s, which while reflecting the racism of the day, also gives a glimpse of relatively intact Abatwa culture.

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File Name of SD Episode: 0363 Indymedia Presents The Abatwa.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:27:59

File Size of SD Episode Video: 1,990,801,548 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 16:24

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