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The Green Life: Youth Produce Environmental Change Through Film

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March 10, 2011

Youth Produce Environmental Change Through Film


Those who believe that the current generation is apathetic clearly haven’t heard of Youth Producing Change, a series of films presented by Adobe Youth Voices and the Human Rights Watch featuring stories by teen filmmakers across the globe. But many of them aren’t just filmmakers – they’re environmentalists as well.

Hands of Love tells the story of David Were, a teenager who lives in the largest slum in Kibera, where simply going to the bathroom can be a threat. After his father loses his eyesight in an attack, Were gathers up friends from his community and creates a clean-up crew solely dedicated to fostering a healthier environment. 

“We decided to come together and do something that the community can appreciate,” Were said. “We live in the second largest slum in Africa and don’t have good ways of disposing waste or cleaning the toilets. We took it upon ourselves to do something for the community because we didn’t want harm to come to anyone else.”

Were isn’t the only one getting his hands dirty in green activism. Image of Contamination (directed by Elizabeth Gonzales and Antonio Rodriguez) revolves around a former Air Force enlistee’s efforts to help combat the toxic waste that has been seeping from the nearby Kelly Air Force Base into her community’s water.

According to Diana Lopez, a grassroots organizer who decided not to join the Air Force after committing herself to the Kelly cause, it’s important that people around the world realize that contamination is a global issue, with many U.S. communities affected by military neglect.

Ngarrindjeri youth speak out against a water crisis in the stirring See, Listen, Speak: Ngarrindjeri’s Being Heard, when the Coroong, a rural community largely dependent on water, finds themselves faced with a shortage due to water from nearby lakes being diverted to big cities. 

Don't miss out on these moving films from today's youth; the Youth Producing Change films are being screened today in San Francisco, as well on March 26-27 in London.

--Shirley Mak

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