If Not Us Then Who? is a global awareness campaign highlighting the role indigenous and local peoples play in protecting the planet.
Working in partnership with indigenous communities across the world, If Not Us Then Who? tells the stories of those people who are often ignored yet are the ones who truly know what it takes to ensure the survival of the planet and maintain its wellbeing.
If Not Us Then Who? make films, take photographs, curate content, commission local artists and host events. By giving indigenous people a platform for their voices to be heard, the charity advocates for greater rights for indigenous and local peoples to bring about positive social change.
The films produced by If Not Us Then Who project are participatory, meaning they work with indigenous peoples to tell the stories they want to tell. From Ecuador, Uganda through to Brazil, the videos highlight issues ranging from rites of passage, conservation efforts, climate change solutions, grassroots activism, and reforestation programmes, among others.
Since launching in 2014, If Not Us Then Who?’s material has been used by non-governmental organisations – including Global Witness, Rainforest Foundation, ISA, Rainforest Action Network – to inform policy makers in large corporations and in governments of the needs of communities. If Not Us Then Who say the material is “a doorway into understanding complex issues such as climate change or the commodities trade, at a community level”.
If Not Us Then Who? was founded by documentary filmmaker Paul Redman, whose work has covered a range of issues including the trade in tiger parts, whale and dolphin trade, illegal logging and the ivory trade.
As the library of short films created by If Not Us Then Who? continues to grow, the charity is also looking at increasing training to its indigenous partners to generate more indigenous-made films on their website.
Images: © If Not Us Then Who?
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea