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Recap — Experiential Education and Training at the 2022 Planetary Health Film Lab in Ecuador

Recap — Experiential Education and Training at the 2022 Planetary Health Film Lab in Ecuador


Published on July 13, 2023

On September 13, 2022, Dahdaleh research fellow Mark Terry debriefed the events at the third Planetary Health Film Lab (PHFL) workshop. This year, in partnership with local universities in Ecuador: Escuela Politécnica Nacional Universidad, Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, and Quechua Academy of Humanities, the PHFL involves Indigenous youth to learn and create a short documentary about a planetary health issue in their communities. The weeklong workshop was filled with engaging activities including indigenous cultural ceremonies, educational excursions, and presentations from guest speakers around the world (some topics include youth engagement, decolonizing planetary health, plant-based solutions, environmental politics, history, laws, and indigenous rights).

A picture of Mark Terry presenting

In the months leading up to the workshop, Indigenous youth received filmmaking training virtually and began to collect footage for their documentary. Students had access to cutting-edge camera equipment, drones, and video editing software. A recurring theme seen in their documentaries was that the planet is sick. It has been poisoned by capitalistic interests that drives deforestation and mining projects which have polluted the environment, reduced crop yield, and created unsafe drinking water. Several films recognized how stories, from their Indigenous communities could assist other indigenous communities around the world by sharing their experiences and solutions.

The PHFL had another successful year as all 16 students completed the program with a 100 percent participation rate. The short documentaries they produced were made in the languages of Kichwa and Shuar, and it was especially significant that 2022 also marked the first year of the International Decade of Indigenous Language. All the documentaries can be found on the Youth Climate Report YouTube channel, with English subtitles. The documentaries were presented at the annual Dahdaleh Micro Film Festival, the 2022 COP27 conference, and at Harvard University for the annual conference of Planetary Health Alliance.

The 2024 Planetary Health Film Lab will take from July 21 - July 23 in Belize and feature Indigenous youth from Belize and Costa Rica.

Find more information on this year's Lab here
Connect with the Planetary Health Film Lab Facebook page here 

Watch the seminar presentation below:

Connect with Mark Terry


Planetary Health



Related Work

Planetary Health Film Lab | Education, Project, Research




Mark Terry, Research Fellow, Documentary Film & Global Health Alum

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