Professor Lise Autogena presenting at the International Uranium Film Festival in Arizona, New Mexico and the Diné Nation – Friday 30 November and Sunday 02 December 2018

Autogena Navajo Festivals

Professor Lise Autogena has been invited to present her and Joshua Portway’s film Kuannersuit; Kvanefjeld at The International Uranium Film Festival at The Navajo Nation Museum at Window Rock, Arizona on 30 November 2018 and The Native American Cultural Center, Northern AZ University, Flagstaff on 02 December 2018.

The International Uranium Film Festival will show films from New Mexico, Arizona, USA, Greenland and Japan about the devastating legacy of uranium mining, nuclear power and nuclear waste on indigenous peoples world-wide. Several filmmakers, nuclear experts and representatives of the Navajo Nation and other indigenous peoples will be present for questions and answers. The festival will be opened by the Vice President of The Navajo Nation, Jonathan Nez.

The Navajo Nation is struggling with an American legacy of 250 uranium mines, many of which have not yet been cleaned up, which is causing devastating impact on Navajo lands, livelihoods and water resources that will last for generations. Despite efforts made in cleaning up many uranium sites, significant problems from the legacy of uranium development persist today on the Navajo Nation lands.

Lise Autogena will discuss the conflicting issues of uranium mining currently facing the Inuit population in Greenland.

Kuannersuit; Kvanefjeld, 2016 (27 minutes) portrays the region of Kvanefjeld in southern Greenland – site of the richest rare earth mineral resources in the world, and home to one of the world’s largest deposits of uranium. The film explores a Greenland divided on the issue of uranium mining as a means of gaining autonomy, social progress and financial independence. Traditional ways of living from the land and the sea do not sit easily with the Greenland’s government’s plans for big investments by foreign mining companies. The film portrays the difficult decisions and trade-offs faced by a culture seeking to escape a colonial past and define its own identity in a globalised world and will be introduced by a paper by the artists.

At a critical time of escalating nuclear threats, the film festival highlights the courage of independent film makers in dealing with uranium-related topics, including contamination resulting from the disposal of nuclear waste and mining of uranium, and the legacy of atomic bomb production and testing. The films the festival brings to the public will help to break the bubble of secrecy surrounding the harm that governments and nuclear industries have caused to land, water, people, communities and all living beings

The International Uranium Film Festival is funded by McCune Foundation, Western Mining Action Network, New Mexico Social Justice and Equity Institute; Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment; Beyond Nuclear; Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety; Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund; Gallup Solar; Interfaith Worker Justice New Mexico; New Mexico Environmental Law Center; New Mexico Health Equity Partnership; New Mexico Interfaith Power & Light; Nuclear Watch New Mexico; Southwest Research & Information Center; and Tewa Women United.

The programme for the Window Rock festival can be found here and for the Flagstaff festival here.

Professor Lise Autogena is an artist and a Professor of Cross-Disciplinary Art at the Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute at Sheffield Hallam University. Find out more about her work here.