The film Powerlands investigates the displacement of Indigenous people and the devastation of their homeland by chemical companies like Peabody, the world’s largest private coal company. On this personal and political journey, a young Navajo filmmaker, Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso, learns from Indigenous activists across three continents-- in Colombia, the Philippines, Mexico, and Standing Rock who have similarly suffered under resource colonization. In each case, she meets Indigenous women leading the struggle against corporations that are stealing water, minerals, and homelands from Indigenous people. Inspired by her journeys, Ivey brings the lessons from others’ struggles home to the Navajo Nation. This powerful film not only exposes harm, it elevates resistance, and displays Native communities in their full humanity and modernity.
The film has been featured on Democracy Now, and is the Winner of multiple awards including Best Feature, American Documentary & Animation Film Festival (AmDocs) 2022; The 2022 Rigoberta Menchú Grand Prize; Best Environmental Film, Arizona International Film Festival.
The UMass Amherst Powerland Organizing Committee will be hosting a screening, discussion, and dinner with Powerlands' film producer, Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso, on December 1st at 5 pm at UMass Amherst, to benefit and elevate this film, and to awaken our shared humanity. This film is meant to be a tool to support collective action and responsibility, and our aim is to provide the conditions for this to take place. Please join us.
We are seeking your support to help make this community showing and event possible. We have received generous support from across the UMass Amherst campus through the Energy Transition Institute, the UMASS Amherst Libraries' Sustainability Fund, the College of Education, the College of Natural Science, the College of Engineering, the College of Humanities and Fine Art, the Manning College of Information and Computer Science, the College of History, the Department of History, the Department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies, and the Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success and the Department of Student Development, and the Mellon Foundation. If your college department would like to support this event, please reach out to Angie Gregory: ajgregory at umass.edu.
As an individual contributor, please consider a donation level that matches your capacity while we invite you to stretch in recognition of your compassion. Any additional funds will be used for future funding of social justice programming, as we hope this is the beginning of ongoing work to engage the community in prosocial discussions and action.
If you are a UMass affiliate with access to Moodle, when you are logged in, you can watch the film here.