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Voices, video, and photos from Oxfam's fight against poverty

Oil as Art?

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If you’re an Oxfam supporter, you’re probably a fan of good movies about challenging subjects.  If so, it’s time to get yourself to a theater to see “Crude” a new documentary about oil production in the Amazon. A hit at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the film follows two lawyers — an American and Ecuadorian — and their 16-year-old suit against Chevron, which alleges environmental damages in the northeast Amazon region of Ecuador.

Cancer survivor Maria Garofalo reflected in the stream behind her home in the Ecuadorean Amazon. From the film Crude, directed and produced by Joe Berlinger. Photo Credit: Juan Diego Pérez.
Cancer survivor Maria Garofalo reflected in the stream behind her home in the Ecuadorean Amazon. From the film Crude, directed and produced by Joe Berlinger. Photo Credit: Juan Diego Pérez.

Oxfam America has worked with the Ecuadorian lawyer from the film, Pablo Fajardo, and his organization, the Amazon Defense Front, for more than 10 years, providing funding to help organize 100 communities affected by oil pollution. As part of our continuing work to support those communities, Oxfam is sending some of our trained student activists, called CHANGE leaders, to several of the “Crude” screenings around the country. They’ll be available to discuss some of the issues at the root of the Chevron case, such as the rights of all resource-rich communities to know what projects are intended for their lands and to decide if they are appropriate for them. They’ll also share information about landmark legislation moving through Congress right now, which could require more transparency of oil, gas, and mining companies so that they publicly disclose the payments they make to foreign governments.

You can learn more about “Crude” be reading this review by the New York Times.  “Multinational corporations … move money and commodities from one place to another, often with slight regard for the sovereignty or customs of any place in particular. And so the lawyers and activists who oppose these conglomerates have tried to become equally mobile and adaptable, moving continually in the zigzagging paths traced by transnational capitalism.”

Plaintiffs' attorney Pablo Fajardo argues his case against Chevron in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Photo Credit: Colin Schibetta.
Plaintiffs' attorney Pablo Fajardo argues his case against Chevron in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Photo Credit: Colin Schibetta.

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