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Launch of a Multimedia Publication

AFFIRMING LIFE AND DIVERSITY:
Rural Images and Voices on Food Sovereignty in South India

Global Launch : Bonn, Germany on Monday, May 19, 2008

   

For the first time in the history of India, a group of non literate, dalit, women filmmakers from a backward district of AP has made an international debut with a multimedia publication called “Affirming Life and Diversity” that consists text and a collection of 12 videos on issues of development made by the women themselves. The videos range from the issues that are very close to their immediate realities and their communities to the first international film made by a group of peasant women anywhere in the world.

The Affirming Life and Diversity was globally launched in Bonn, Germany on Monday, May 19th as a part of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity [COP 9].

and is going to launch in India & Canada on following dates

Canada :

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hyderabad : Saturday, May 24, 2008
Delhi : Monday, June 9, 2008
Chennai : Thursday, June 12, 2008
Banglore : Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thus the peasant filmmakers from the DDS Community Media Trust of Medak District will go down in history as the first Indian rural women filmmakers to have had a multi country launch of their book.

The Community Media Trust of the Deccan Developmentociety (DDS) was created to take the images and voices of rural women to the larger outside world and to create an alternative media that can be accessed and controlled by the local communities, especially by those that suffer continued exclusion. The Community Media Trust (CMT) is made up of twenty women, seventeen of whom are working with digital video and three with radio. The primary engagement of the CMT lies in a horizontal communication with their communities. Since coming into existence in October 2001, the CMT members have engaged with their own communities in debates over food and seed sovereignty, control over natural resources, market and media. The CMT has also established solidarity networks with local communities in South Asian and other regions of the world.
The multimedia publication Affirming Life and Diversity: Rural Images and Voices on Food Sovereignty in South India, is also a product of an action research initiated by the International Institute for Environment and Development [IIED] of UK. This action research called Sustaining Local Food Systems, Agricultural Biodiversity and Livelihoods adopted a medium of research documentation that could be understood by non-literate partners and be acceptable to other audiences (including scientific researchers). As a result of this conscious approach, a body of films was made by the women on dalit food systems, their community food sovereignty, autonomous markets and autonomous media. As a consequence., what this publication brings out is not only the accomplishment of the women in terms of their media sophistication but also their special eye in describing the triumph of the small in their agriculture, seeds, food systems, markets and media.