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In Lesotho, artists bring to life forms of cultural resistance

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São Paulo – Absolute poverty and the problems that arise from this situation plague Lesotho, a parliamentary monarchy, with its territory completely surrounded by South Africa. Political and economic instability have raised unemployment to 27.2%, one of the highest rates on the continent African. In addition, 55.4% of the population lives in absolute poverty; 24% of adults have HIV, the second highest rate in the world; and 33% of children are orphaned, or vulnerable.

In the context in which survival is a challenge for the majority of its two million inhabitants, expressions of cultural resistance arise in defense of the identity and dignity of a people. That’s what the documentary shows From trash to treasure, turning negatives into positives (in free translation from: From trash to treasure, transforming negatives into positives), by Brazilian director of Korean descent Iara Lee.

(almapreta.com/reprodução)

In the documentary, released on YouTube, filmmakers from Lesotho show the need to end child marriage and musicians write songs about climate change. Also shown are farmers who collect seeds to protect endangered tree species, and designers use clothing to preserve traditional Basotho culture and challenge common perceptions of Africa.

Resurrection

“This film is about people who have mastered the talent for resurrection. I am inspired by the tremendous resourcefulness of grassroots communities in this small country, their creativity and their desire to turn negative things into positive ones, ”says director Iara Lee.

One of the characters in the film is an artist named Nthabiseng TeReo Mohanela. He takes discarded materials and turns them into exclusive clothes and accessories. Teaching young people the benefits of recycling and recreating, she calls her project “From the Garbage to the Treasury”.

With TeReo’s work as a starting point, this short film shows a broader spirit of reimagination among Lesotho artists, who use their creativity to respond to entrenched social problems.

Help for artists

After filming in Lesotho, director Iara Lee created an award to give back to the people and organizations featured in the documentary. The prizes, worth one thousand dollars each, encourage the winners to continue carrying out their work and to repay them to society.

Iara Lee is a filmmaker who is always looking for unusual themes and cultural resistance. She, who worked at the São Paulo International Film Festival in the 1980s, currently lives in New York. The documentary is also hers K2 and the invisible servants (in free translation from K2 and the invisible footmen). The work shows the struggle for the survival of Pakistanis below the poverty line, living as porters for people who venture on the mountain, considered the most dangerous in the world.

Watch the documentary:

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Economy

11 million Bolivians will have free vaccine against covid

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São Paulo – Former Bolivian President Evo Morales commented, this Wednesday (21st), the importance of youth in the electoral process that led Luis Arce, from the Movement to Socialism (MAS), to victory in the presidential election of October 18 . “Young people saw what it is like to live under the right and the dictatorship. And they reflected on how we were with our revolution and how we were under the coup, ”he said. Evo was overthrown by a coup in November 2019 that brought lawyer and TV presenter Jeanine Áñez to the presidency. With 90% of the official count completed. at 3:40 pm on this Wednesday (21st), Luis Arce approaches 55% of the valid votes. “What was at stake on October 18 was to go back to the past with the privatists or continue to the future with the nationalists,” said Evo Morales in an interview with Breno Altman (watch below).

Asked how the country will recover from the economic crisis aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, he replied that it will be with the presence of the state. The Bolivian guaranteed that Bolivia will normalize relations with China, Cuba, “some European countries” and Russia. “Those who once asked for market, market, market, now say State, State State, in the face of the pandemic.”

Vaccine against covid-19

“We are going to face the pandemic. When we have the vaccine, we will distribute it to all 11 million Bolivians for free. ” According to him, tackling the pandemic and the crisis will be done through joint work between the federal government, governors and mayors.

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro not only boycotts health policies, but goes further. On Wednesday, he forbade the country to buy the Chinese vaccine CoronaVac, which would have 46 million doses through negotiations with the state of São Paulo announced the day before by the Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuello. “I don’t give up my authority”, justified the Brazilian’s head of state.

South America

About neighbors in South America, Evo Morales highlighted the “profound ideological and programmatic difference” between MAS and the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, from Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and the former Argentine president Mauricio Macri. But it was diplomatic. “Whether it is left or right, we must work together respecting our differences. South Americans cannot be isolated, ”he said.

Morales acknowledged that he may have been mistaken as president. “I was wrong, but I am a human being,” he said. “Now we have experience in public management, and we are going to take Bolivia forward, united, organized.” He affirmed that the new government will make “a pact of union between the parties of the right, businessmen and workers, a great national agreement, to raise the economy”, adding: “The moment is to consolidate our process of change, democracy does not end on election day ”.

Evo has been in Argentina since December 2019, where he went into exile after the coup in the country. He said that the return to his country still has no forecast. In an interview with BBC Brazil, the president-elect was not positive about the possible participation of the ex-president in the new government. “If Evo Morales wants to help us, he will be very welcome. But that does not mean that Morales will be in the government. It will be my government, ”he said.

Check out Evo Morales interview with Breno Altman

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