Documentary screening to link local and global environmental activism

"Powerlands" (2022) will screen at Turner Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m., followed by a discussion with the director and a local activist.

“Powerlands” film screening

In “Powerlands”, a young Navajo filmmaker investigates the displacement of Indigenous people and devastation of the environment caused by the same chemical companies that have exploited the land where she was born. On this personal and political journey, she learns from Indigenous activists across three continents.

Powerlands flim poster, showing four Indigenous people standing silhouetted before a lake. "A map drawn in vibrant colors of resistance." Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine. Laurels from 8 film festivals. More information at
Powerlands (2022) screening at Turner Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.

“Powerlands” director Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso travels to the La Guajira region in rural Colombia, the Tampakan region of the Philippines, the Tehuantepec Isthmus of Mexico, and the protests at Standing Rock. In each case, she meets Indigenous women leading the struggle against the same corporations that are causing displacement and environmental catastrophe in her own home. Inspired by these women, Ivey Camille brings home the lessons from these struggles to the Navajo Nation.

“Powerlands” contains seven languages, including several Indigenous languages rarely captured on film: English, Diné, Spanish, Wayuu, Visayan, Blaan, and Zapotec. The 75-minute documentary has earned several awards, including Best US Feature at American Documentary & Animation Film Festival (AmDocs) and Best Environmental Film at Arizona International Film Festival.

A Q&A with the director via Zoom will follow the screening.

No Sacrifice Zones day of action

The screening coincides with a “No Sacrifice Zones” day of action in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 8. Frontline community leaders will rally outside the Capitol to protest the Mountain Valley Pipeline and fossil fuel legislation that would harm BIPOC communities and ecosystems into the future.

No Sacrifice Zones: Appalachian Resistance Comes to DC, Thursday Sep. 8 at 5 p.m. Frontlines united to #StopMVP & Manchin's dirty deal
No Sacrifice Zones: Appalachian Resistance Comes to DC on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 5 p.m.

Crystal Cavalier-Keck, an Indigenous activist who has been leading resistance against the MVP Southgate pipeline in Alamance County, where Elon is located, will remotely share live coverage and highlights with screening attendees from the “No Sacrifice Zones” event. Cavalier-Keck is a founding member of 7 Directions of Service, a regional grassroots mobilization platform centered on her ancestral Occaneechi-Saponi lands.

A free roundtrip bus to Washington will leave from Durham, and there are multiple support and volunteer opportunities leading up to the event. Paperhand Puppets will facilitate a local art build in Saxapahaw, N.C., to prepare puppets, paint signs and banners and make prints. Visit the MVP Resistance Volunteer Sign Up page for additional resources and to reserve a seat on the bus.

The Powerlands screening is sponsored by Turner Theatre, elondocs, the Kernodle Center for Civic Engagement, and Peace and Conflict Studies.