AIDESEP Rejects Hollywood's Stereotypes and Prejudices Against Isolated Indigenous Peoples
- August 5, 2015
- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Ignorance, mis-information, and the low priority given to the protection and claims for the rights of indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation have contributed to a negative perception of them. In turn, public policies are being decided or proposed that threaten their lives and self-determination.
It's clear that these kinds of erroneous perceptions of isolated indigenous peoples are being fed by different factors, such as the audio-visual content found manifest to the present day within different Hollywood films, which provide information that is completely out of touch with reality, reinforcing stereotypes and prejudice.
Currently, the upcoming release of the movie The Green Inferno is of concern to the indigenous organizations that defend these peoples, given that its images portray a banal and erroneous image of isolated indigenous peoples.
This film tells the story of a group of young activists from the United States who travel from New York City to the Amazon to save a group of indigenous peoples who are at point of disappearing. These indigenous peoples respond in a violent way, even eating the activists.
"Are 'uncontacted' indigenous peoples cannibals?" AIDESEP's specialist Beatriz Huertas asks indignantly. "These kinds of films and images feed the prejudices that already exist in society in regard to indigenous peoples, furthering negative stereotypes that they are "savages" and "cannibals", which is a big lie. There are no cannibal indigenous peoples in our Amazon."
"Contrary to what these kinds of films try to show, at a particular time this form of life saved these indigenous peoples from disappearing given the violence that was unleashed on them. Additionally, it reflects a great ability to adapt to a new geographic environment they turned into their refuge. They are respectfully coexisting with nature, which our supposedly advanced society is destroying," stated Huertas.
As AIDESEP, we understand that films tell fictional, fantasy and out of context stories. As such, we denounce that this kind of foreign film attempts with no sense of responsibility to use real news with respect to the vulnerable situation in which isolated indigenous peoples live and to promote it through social media.
For AIDESEP's specialist in indigenous peoples living in isolation and initial contact, Beatriz Huertas, this kind of media manipulation for the publicity of such a harmful movie doesn't respect these peoples, on one hand, and feeds erroneous ideas on the other hand that can be used to justify ill-informed decisions with respect to the protection of isolated peoples.
"In some respects, this kind of content also reinforces policies of the Peruvian state that are geared toward contacting them through force, integrating them into society, imposing upon them a certain way of life, acculturating them, "freeing up their territories" and taking advantage of the natural resources found within," she added.
Finally, as legitimate representatives of indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazon, AIDESEP requests that the Peruvian authorities and general public reflect about and criticize this kind of film as it is our responsibility to be conscious and make a clear distinction between fiction and reality.
AIDESEP is the Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon, Peru's largest and most internationally respected indigenous umbrella organization. AIDESEP is composed of 96 indigenous federations which represent some 64 indigenous peoples living in 1,800+ communities across the Amazon region.