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By Tatiana Roa Avendaño– Friends of the Earth Colombia and Jessica Toloza – Anthropology Student at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia

“A single swallow does not necessarily mean that summer is on its way” Juan Ventes

Note: This article was published previously in Agrocombustibles: Llenando Tanques, Vaciando Territorios (Agro-fuels: Filling Tanks, Emptying Territorios, published by Censat Agua Viva and the Proceso de Comunidades Negras (Process of Black Communities), Bogotá – Colombia, 2008. It was translated from the Spanish by Kolya Abramsky, with assistance from Claudia Roa and Adam Rankin

Despite the fact that it might appear as if the voyage along the length of the South Pacific coast of Colombia came to an end with the latest activities in Tumaco, the journey is not over yet. Through the debates, discussions and denunciations arising from the presentation, as well as the warnings about megaprojects that marginalize and bleed the territories, we have been brought face to face with the vestiges of slavery. Such has been the outcome of this campaign for life and freedom in the context of today’s marginalization. Like migratory birds, we made our way from port to port, listening to tales of a pained world, aware that the confirmation of the story lay in the lives of the protagonists: peasant men and women. These are the downtrodden victims of injustice, yet they are nonetheless alive with happiness. Together, we built a fraternal fire and shared a small artesenal boat in which we ate together as equals and gently sung ourselves into dissonance. Despite our diverse places of origin (Buenaventura, Bogota, Bahía Málaga, Ladrilleros, Cali, Sala Onda, Guapi, Timbiqui and Tumaco) and our different professions, we made the journey together in a familial and fraternal spirit. Combining visions and dreams for a single cause, we reclaimed the word, recounting the outrages and injustices of a capitalism whose discriminatory policies and practices are devastating the African population and banishing them from their own territories. Capitalism which, according to Bolívar Echeverría, “implies the alienation of the human subject, and the erosion of its ability to reproduce itself and generate its own ways of being.”

Read the completed article. Dynamycs of songful resistance

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