Jota Ramos from Villa Rica, hip hop singer and organiser from Villa Rica in Colombia, will present the documentary Mi FinK and talk about the situation and struggle of Afrodescendants in Colombia, which arose in the face of vulnerability to losing the land: one of the few things that keep the community united and free.
Wednesday 6 October, 17:00 - 19:30, at Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, Room G32 (Senate House, Ground Floor), Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
As land has been lost to large, commercial, sugar plantations in the Cauca Region of Colombia, small scale traditional farms or fincas have disappeared and with them knowledge of locally adapted food production systems. In Villa Rica, however, Jota Ramos and his friends have decided to fight back. By learning about traditional production techniques from the town's elders they are rescuing and revitalising the knowledge they need in order to re-establish a vibrant rural community that has control over the food that they eat. 'Mi Fink' is a short documentary that Jota and his colleagues have made to record their efforts to take control of their lives and their futures. It is also the name of their project, which is part of a much larger programme, ¡Haga que pase!, which seeks to motivate and support young people in their efforts to change their lives for the better. In this evening's seminar, Jota will present the documentary 'Mi Fink' and explain a little more about the struggle for food sovereignty and freedom in Villa Rica. http://americas.sas.ac.uk/events.php.
Monday 11th October 2010 - 7 pm, Public Meeting: Latin America: 500 Years of Resistance
Latin America today is at the forefront of the struggle against economic and political domination in the globalised world. The struggle has never ceased. During the past 518 years the indigenous peoples of the continent have been fighting for their land and their cultural identity. Recently, the first ever indigenous President was elected in Bolivia, a country that achieved independence and was named after its liberator, Simon Bolivar, who, nearly 200 years ago, envisioned a united continent free from foreign domination. This event will celebrate the spirit of resistance of its indigenous people, as represented by the current struggle of the Mapuche in Chile, and the legacy of the ideas of Bolivar for the 21st century.
BBC World Service interview Jota Ramos, 2 August, 2010
Villa Rica is a town in south-western Colombia, where drugs and crime are rife.
There is increasing pressure for young people to join either the left wing guerrilla groups or the right wing paramilitary groups which surround the area.
Fearing an increasingly uncertain future of poverty in his hometown, Jota Ramos, a young Afro-Colombian is fighting for change in Villa Rica using hip-hop music.
I thought through my art I could show what my reality is really like. Jota Ramos He has set up a hip-hop group called Soporte Klan. Their songs focus on community issues and by getting young people involved in the group, he is taking them away from the temptation of drugs and street crime.
Jota Ramos is now touring Europe. He tells Matthew Bannister why he hopes to raise awareness of the plight of his community.
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