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Photography exhibition gives Peruvian women a voice

22nd April 2020

Research carried out by Dr Katy Jenkins, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Centre for International Development at Northumbria, on women’s anti-mining activism has now been exhibited across several Belgian cities.

Katy’s work focuses particularly on activism in Latin America and these exhibitions showcase the results of a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship-funded participatory photography project, featuring a group of twelve women from three women’s anti-mining activist organisations in the region of Cajamarca, Northern Peru. The project captures the perspectives of women who are resisting large-scale resource extraction in the Peruvian Andes. The photos, and the words that accompany them, reflect the ideas, hopes and beliefs of this group of women in relation to the theme of ‘development’ and what it means to them in the context of living with large-scale mining. This research is being used by Belgian NGO CATAPA, an environmental and social grassroots movement that focuses on issues relating to mining, in their public awareness raising work.

Since early February 2020, a selection of these images have been exhibited across Belgium, with exhibitions being held in Brussels and Ghent, and planned for Antwerp. These exhibitions have been organised by CATAPA, RoSa vzw, a feminist library, and Encuentro Belgian Latin America Network.

Opening night was held at RoSa vzw in Brussels on February 6th, where Katy together with Siggrid Vertommen (University of Cambridge) and Rafael Salgado (Carpeta Colaborativa) took part in a discussion chaired by Nan Verbeke from RoSa vzw. The discussion drew on the expertise of all three speakers to consider the gendered impacts that resource extraction has, and to consider the following questions:

  • What possibilities are there for (eco)feminism to question the current state of affairs and to propose alternatives?
  • How can we frame the questions surrounding extractivism (across industries such as fertility or mining) so researchers, activists and communities work together on alternative solutions?
  • Is there space for international solidarity and responsibility, for instance as rights activists or informed consumers?

This series of exhibitions not only helps to further the reach of Katy’s research but raises awareness of the struggles facing women in the Peruvian Andes living with the realities of large-scale mining.

Extracting From The Land To The Body: Gendered resistance and feminist alternatives” Opened February 6th at Rosa vzw, Brussels, Belgium.

Photo: Killari/Women, Mining and Photography 2017.


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