Envisioning Peace and Development in Colombia’s Mining Sector: A Documentary Film Experiment

Storytelling is part of healing, and stories are often best told best by those that have lived them.

In early 2019, in collaboration with our Colombian partner organization CREER (The Regional Centre for Responsible Business in Colombia), CBI envisioned and co-produced a documentary film as a medium to give voice to the experience and concerns of community stakeholders living in the coal-mining region of Cesar, Colombia.

This ‘storytelling’ project provided residents of this region, torn by social and political violence, with the opportunity to not only address past tensions, but also to imagine how to solve future problems for their communities. The Cesar region was the epicenter of horrific violence during Colombia’s civil war and at the same time was impacted by significant private sector development – including extensive regional thermal coal production and an expanding palm oil industry.

The CBI-CREER film team employed the metaphor of traditional Colombian soup-making (called “sancocho”) to invite all stakeholders to articulate their experiences and future aspirations.  By “making soup” with those who have lived through the challenges of the region – communities, companies, and government leadership alike – the film reflects the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of what it could mean to get the recipe for trust-building right and co-construct a vision for regional development that meets shared needs and concerns.

The film debuted in March 2019 and was viewed by more than 100 stakeholders in La Jugua de Ibirico, Cesar, Colombia in a participatory format[1] to encourage audience interaction and reflection.  Attendees included members of the five communities that appear in the film, representatives from the Drummond and Prodeco companies, the Netherlands Embassy, human rights organizations, and military and police leadership – all of whom will play essential roles in the next project phase: jointly designing a roadmap for peace and inclusive development for the region that CBI will help to guide.

The film will be shown again in Bogota in May and later circulated among development and dispute resolution organizations in Washington, Boston, and Toronto.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_of_the_Oppressed  


To watch the video in Spanish, please click here.

For more project information, please see: https://www.creer-ihrb.org/documental-cesar 


Film Premiere

The documentary film was premiered first to stakeholders in March 2019 in La Jagua, Colombia. This addendum short film below captures the experience with music and background.  


Please scroll through the slideshow below of photos taken while filming: