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Silvia Procopio



Key words: Documentary, climate change, Mexico, Cancun, UN COP16 , ANTI COP 16, grass roots movement, sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty, cultural identity, bio-colonialism



In December 2010 the UN summit on climate change (UN COP 16) took place in the Mexican City of Cancun. At this occasion also an international grass roots movement of ecologist groups, peasants, small- and medium-sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth and agricultural workers meet at the Anti-Summit ANTI COP 16 to demonstrate solidarity and unity among small farmer organizations and ecologist groups in their struggle for fair economic relations; The struggle has the goal to promote a model of sustainable production with local resources and in harmony with local culture and traditions. Another important point of the struggle is the people's demand for food sovereignty. Food sovereignty is the peoples and developing countries rights to define their agricultural and food policy without the “dumping” of agricultural commodities into foreign countries. Last goal is even the decentralization of food production and supply chains.

Cancun 2010, Copryright S. Procopio©


The production of a Documentary of about 30-40 min, which focuses on the mentioned Anti-Summit in Cancun. At this event Sylvia Procopio was in contact with ‘La via Campensina’ and ‘Dialogo Climatico Espacio Mexicano’, social movements which were organizing an alternative forum on climate change. Her basic idea was to film and edit a collaborative visual work project on ANTI COP16 with ‘Koman Ilel’ -  a young media activist group from San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas. As an activist involved in the struggles of the groups that  she interviewed, Sylvia Procopio’s  follows an inside point of view, critical but not-objective. Sylvia filmed interviews, conferences, events, demonstrations and daily life situations during the anti-summit and with her internal approach she does not want to show the COP of the mass media but wants to take the perspective of the social activists, the grassroots movement and the peasant in their struggle for their aims. Sylvia does not want to do an apology of the ecologist struggle, but she wants to speak about the climate change with a different point of view, the non-official, the one that the media never follow, the personal stories of people, which daily fight against the corporation exploitation in their lands. It’s a perspective on climate change, its causes and effects seldom explored in the mass media.

The Project Thesis of about 8.000 words (25 pages) is a general analysis on how this grassroots movement is developing the issues and what the strategy to gain the struggle is all about. To achieve her aim Sylvia Procopio is in contact with many grassroots organizations and she’s looking on articles, books and websites for her research.

Indigenous people of Mexico, Copryright S. Procopio©

Project goals:

The main goal is to document the reality out of a collective point of view, where the documentary has not 'just' a unique authorial voice. Therefore Sylvia developed the idea of a collective authorship, focusing on what is the methodology of work in a video group. In fact there will be a part of ‘backstage’, which reveals the decisional process and the organizational steps. Within her project Sylvia wants to focus on the link between social movement, climate change and cultural identity and wants to work three main points:

1. Bio-colonialism: How government and private interests exploit the natural habitat of peasants and indigenous people 2. Cultural issues: How peasants, indigenous people and ecologist groups find a unique social and political identity 3. International struggle: How the struggle on climate change becomes international and supports the development of the worldwide social movement.

Mexican grassroots organisation, Copyright S. Procopio©


Time Schedule:

- March – April 2011: Transcription of interviews, conferences, events and images filmed during the last period (December 2010 – February 2011); Research of books, articles, web sites and grassroots groups working on climate change.

- May – July 2011: Translation of the dialogues, construction of the Screenplay and audio-video edition; First draft of the Project Thesis.

- August – September 2011: Project Video finalization; Project Thesis finalization