Bringing Avatar’s Na’vi to real life, to help fight a battle eerily similar to that fought in Avatar.
An international organization trying to protect the rights of tribal peoples, Survival, decided to go Avatar in their activism. And they’re doing a good job of it, in my humble opinion.
But even more impressive (and scary) is how similar the real-life story, set in India, is to the plot of Avatar.
Survivor is protesting British mining company Vedanta’s plan to dig an open pit mine for aluminum ore on the Niyamgiri mountain in eastern India, on which the local Dongria Kondh depend as a vital source of food, water and medicine, and which they worship as a god. The mountain is used by the Dongria Kondh to grow their crops, including beans, bananas, lentils, and is home to surprisingly diverse wildlife- monkeys, tigers, bears, and wild boar.
This fight has been going on for about a year, and the tide may be turning in favor of the natives.
The Church of England, after withdrawing its investments in Vedanta, writes: “After six months of engagement, we are not satisfied that Vedanta has shown, or is likely in future to show, the level of respect for human rights and local communities that we expect of companies in whom the Church investing bodies hold shares.”
Additionally, dressing up as Na’vi and reaching out to James Cameron and Hollywood seems to be helping the 8,000 Dongria Kondh. “They’ve already got a few celebrities on their side, including Monty Python’s Michael Palin,” Davies writes.
Good luck to the Na’vi and the Dongria Kondh.
Photo Credit: Survival