Working with Inter Pares to Advocate for Global Equality

Over the years One World Film Festival has worked with various organizations to create a platform to discuss global issues and engage audiences, inspiring them to learn more and get involved. One of the agencies with which OWFF has had a long standing of partnership with is the social change agency Inter Pares.

The name Inter Pares, derived from a Latin phrase meaning “among equals”, embodies the agency’s goal of global equality. Inter Pares works over 37 other countries, including Canada, to empower people “to be at the center of their own development and to assert their own agency”. In its advocacy for global social justice Inter Pares places significant focus issues relating to: Women’s Equality, Peace and Democracy, Control over Resources, Economic Justice, Food Sovereignty, Health and Migration.

For almost 20 years the OWFF has collaborated with Inter Pares to raise awareness on global issues by providing a platform for their message to reach new audiences.  Inter Pares has co-presented screenings of thought-provoking documentaries followed by inspiring discussions, giving audiences opportunities to gain new perspectives and be motivated to become more involved.

In 2006 at our 17th annual festival Inter Pares sponsored a screening of Lea Rekow’s A LONG STRUGGLE. Armed with a spy camera and posing as a school teacher, filmmaker Lea Rekow secretly crossed the border of Thailand into Burma to document the struggle of ethnic minorities who continue to survive under the brutal and repressive military dictatorship which has lasted for more than four decades. The documentary captures personal accounts of political conflict, forced labour, forced relocation, narcotics, displaced persons and continuing diplomatic struggle.

At the 20th annual OWFF in 2009 Inter Pares sponsored RISING FROM THE ASHES, a film by Stephen Hunt that explored Peru’s civil war which killed more than 70000 people. Hidden from view, the brutality of the armed conflict with the Shining Path shocked Peruvians. Indigenous people were the primary victims where rape was used as a weapon of war. This documentary tells a powerful story of women who are taking on new roles and seeking justice in a post-conflict society.

Julien Frechette’s documentary SILENCE IS GOLD, screened in 2013, highlights the unethical approach of corporations as they mine resources in other countries. The film chronicles the complex legal proceedings that followed the 2008 publication of Alain Deneault’s Noir Canada, an exposé of the troubling practices of Canadian mining companies in Africa. Following the screening, Inter Pares’ Sam McGavin participated in a panel discussion along with filmmaker Julien Fréchette and Jamie Kneen of Mining Watch Canada. The panel was an energetic discussion about the imbalance of power that occurs when corporations take small non-profits to court.

In 2015 during OWFF event “Actions Speak Louder Than Words” Inter Pares held a screening of LA FIEVRE VERTE (Green Fever) a poignant documentary on the impact of the phenomenon of massive acquisitions of agricultural land in West Africa. The film was created by Inter Pares, the Université de Montreal’s REDTAC research group and the West African peasant movement COPAGEN based on a research project that documented the impacts of land grabs on peoples’ livelihoods and food security in West Africa. Following the screening Inter Pares Africa Program Manager Eric Chaurette, along with some of the filmmakers led a discussion on land grabs in West Africa.

At last year’s festival One World Arts partnered with Inter Pares to present the documentary Migrant Dreams. This presentation was followed by a panel discussion with the director Min Sook Lee, Chris Ramsaroop of Justicia for Migrant Workers, and members of the Harvesting Freedom Caravan. This inspiring screening marked the final stop on the Harvesting Freedom Caravan’s tour. Inter Pares supported One World Arts by sponsoring travel and accommodation for Sook Lee as well as facilitating the panel discussion. During the festival, Inter Pares also participated in the opening night panel discussion following a screening of the documentary Rigoberta Menchu: Daughter of the Maya (co-presented with the Nobel Women’s Initiative).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On September 20th Inter Pares and Octopus Books will be hosting a book launch for Corinne L. Mason’s Manufacturing Urgency at 7PM 25OneCommunity in Ottawa. Mason is an associate professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Sociology at Brandon University. Her book explores “anti-violence policies in international development, demonstrating that strategies intended to end violence against women are constructed to serve ends other than the needs of women.” Mark your calendars and join us in supporting this engaging event.

We’ve had a successful and meaningful relationship with Inter Pares. Looking ahead we will continue to work with them to inspire and educate, through sharing thought-provoking documentaries and facilitating discussions. Our goal is to mobilize our audience to support Inter Pares and their partners in their fight to bring about global equality.

Learn more and get involved, visit interpares.ca and sign-up for their e-newsletter, support their campaigns, volunteer, make a donation, and find out about all the other ways you can be a part of their work.