About this project
Pachamama is a unique feature-length documentary, produced using primarily ultra-wide angles lenses, that will give you a rare insight into an indigenous population living in the Bolivian Andes, the Kallawayas.
Having been affected by climate change for nearly over a decade, the Kallawayas have found inspiring ways to deal with their changing environment.
We have been given an exceptional insight into their world and would like you to join us in telling their story.
The Kallawayas are traditional healers living in the Andes of Bolivia. They are based in the mountainous Bautista Saavedra region (see map) north of La Paz. They are members of the Mollo culture and are direct descendants of Tiwanaku culture. According to the UNESCO Safeguarding Project, the Kallawayas can even be traced back to the pre-Inca period!
The indigenous community relies on hundreds of plants in order to be able to practice their traditional medicine. For example, using only plant remedies they were able to successfully treat the Malaria pandemic at the Panama Canal in the 1900s!
They rely on an ancient and elaborate system of agriculture and household crafts to survive in the arid mountainous region, in which they have lived for centuries.
The Kallawayas' dependence on their environment means that they are extremely sensitive to the ongoing changes in the climate.
Having a completely different perspective of the environment, they revere (Pachamama) as a deity, and treat it with as much care as they would treat their close ones. Therefore, seeing their environment affected by the climate has not only affected their livelihood but their minds and spiritual beliefs.
However, the Kallawayas' ability to adapt to climate change, using their extensive knowledge of their environment, is inspiring, and we want to share their story, with you.
Due to past exploitation of their traditional medicinal knowledge by pharmaceutical firms, they have been extremely wary of foreigners and are very closed up.
Fortunately, working with established researchers, Kallawaya authorities have agreed to give us access to their mountain villages, and share their unique interpretation of the radically changing landscape.
Dr. Ka. Walter Alvarez Quispe (the head of the Kallawaya in Khanlaya) has agreed to let us film and has shown his support for our documentary by agreeing to help us "in every possible manner."
José Mendoza Barrea (the Assembly member for the Kallawaya Nation in the Plurinational Assembly of the La Paz, Bolivia) is enthusiastic about the documentary. He has offered to help us plan our stay and project.
We will explore a new way of making documentaries. The majority of the shots will be filmed using ultra-wide angles lenses.
You will be brought right into the action but also constantly see the Kallawayas within the living landscapes they inhabit, a beautiful and little explored region of Bolivia.
We will give you the opportunity to get close, to step forward and be engulfed inside the scenes, giving you a unique insight into an indigenous community and stunning region. The wide-angle lenses will provide an overwhelming sense of reality.
By taking in an entire view in one shot, your eyes will be free to roam. All of the detail, all of the encompassing sense of a location, will be available to you.
Using ultra-wide angle lenses, we will also be creating timelapses to emphasise the movements of the environment. Exhibiting nature's human traits, we will bring you closer to the Kallawayas' unique perspective of nature.
We have already received an important bit of funding, which is great. However, we still need at least £8000, in order to tell this story in the best way possible.
We are going to Bolivia to film the documentary in July 2014 and we plan to release the feature-length documentary Pachamama in January 2015.
As a backer, you'll be with us all the way through the process of making this film, from pre-production to post-production! This isn’t a documentary that has already been produced, so this will really give you the opportunity to be there from the beginning of something truly unique.
We'll send you exclusive updates and you'll have the opportunity to receive a bunch of stuff from us, including fab canvas bags and your own embroided Pachamama black cap.
Here are a few sneak peaks of some of those gifts…
Embroided Pachamama Black Cap
Eco-Friendly Cotton Pachamama Tote Canvas Bag
We couldn’t be more excited and honoured to have the chance to tell this story, and as a backer, you’re a huge part of that.
Risks and challenges
As Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, we have carefully considered personal and equipment safety. We have spoken to local Bolivians and government officials in Bolivia. All have underlined that safety risks are low since we will be in a remote area where the chances of being exposed to crimes relating to drugs, theft or violence are extremely minimal. In addition, by living with the Kallawayas who we are in close contact with, we will be staying in a close-knit and welcoming community. In this way we will remove the risk issues that may have been a concern. Furthermore, by establishing contacts in La Paz, and by travelling with Jonathan Alderman, an anthropologist PHD researcher who has lived with the Kallawayas for twelve months last year, we will always be in the company and care of either locals or experienced individuals.
Although the majority of the Kallawayas speak Spanish, some may speak Quechua, a language that we do not speak. However, Jonathan can speak Quechua and will act as a translator should the need occur.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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