Medium and message: Progressio

A film about a Peruvian village's fight against developers is teaching other communities to assert themselves.

Stephanie Boyd, a development worker for international development charity Progressio, has made a film about the struggle of local people in Tambogrande, Peru, to save their fragile valley from development by a mining company.

Tambogrande: Mangos, Murder, Mining will be screened in London for the first time today at an event hosted by Progressio and the Peru Support Group.

Boyd, a trained journalist, was moved to investigate the situation after reading an article about how a Canadian mining company was establishing a mine, resisted by the local community, in Tambogrande in northern Peru.

"I went to Peru thinking at first that I would write an article," she says. "But then I met this very charismatic activist called Godfredo Garcia and knew I had to make a film. He was actually assassinated after we started filming, which only strengthened our resolve."

The conflict was eventually settled peacefully. Boyd has already shown the film to three other Peruvian communities facing similar situations. "It's all very well us trying to tell these people to react peacefully," says Boyd, "but seeing an example of successful, non-violent campaigning from their own society is really inspiring."

The film was premiered at the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam at the end of last month, and 700 copies will be sent to development organisations.

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