Mari Luz Canaquiri from the Kukama Women’s Federation in Peru will be in Williams Lake Saturday, Oct. 14 at Cariboo Community Church with Canadian filmmaker Stephanie Boyd and Peruvian artist and filmmaker Miguel Araoz Cartagena to talk about the struggles of people living in the Peruvian Amazon. Photo submitted.

Event to shed light on struggles of people in the Peruvian Amazon

Cariboo Community Church is hosting an event Saturday, Oct. 14, beginning at 7 p.m.

Canadian filmmaker Stephanie Boyd has been living in Peru and making films for the past 20 years.

Two years ago she embarked on a project with Mari Luz Canaquiri from the Kukama Women’s Federation in Peru and Peruvian artist and filmmaker Miguel Araoz Cartagena to bring to light the stories and struggles of people from the Peruvian Amazon.

The three of them will be in Williams Lake Saturday, Oct. 14 at Cariboo Community Church at 35 Oliver Street to give a free presentation beginning at 7 p.m.

During a phone interview this week, Boyd said she got involved with the project when an Indigenous leader from the Amazon rain forest, who had seen one of her earlier films, asked if she would make a film with him and his radio station.

“He told us the story about how there are these magical river spirits that live under the rivers and lakes of the jungle so that’s why they are working to preserve the rivers and lakes because they are not just their source of water and fish, it is also their spiritual world,” Boyd said. “It was a special kind of story I’d never heard before.”

As a journalist, Boyd said she was intrigued because she had been working on environmental issues in Peru for many years, yet had never heard there was this world for Indigenous people in the Amazon.

In January 2015, they began creating a book of Kukama myths that includes artwork by local children and they’ve made three different short films with the Kukama and are working on a feature length film.

On Saturday they will screen one of the short films — Karuara: The People of the River.

Their visit to Williams Lake is part of a B.C.-wide tour and on Monday, Oct. 16 they will go to Toosey First Nation.

”We have seen so many parallels with what First Nations communities are going through in B.C. and what they are going through in Peru,” Boyd said of the tour. “There’ve been a lot of oil pipelines built in the area where we are working. We wanted to bring those two worlds together — Indigenous people across the Americas.”



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