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 Vandana Rust Sari 5
 
Vandana Shiva will be in Ojai next week to headline our annual Earth Day at Oak Grove School!
 
If you are in the area, we can’t encourage you enough to attend this event.
 
Oak Grove is situated on a breathtakingly beautiful campus. What better way to spend a gorgeous Spring day but in Ojai, surrounded by wildflowers, ancient oaks, birds, bees and butterflies and a friendly crowd of change-makers doing their part to rejuvenate Mother Earth?
 
Many local organizations will have displays of their work; there’ll be activities for kids, a whole lot of music and fresh, local food.
 
Earth Day starts at 11.00am.
Dr. Shiva will speak at 2.30pm. Book Signing afterwards.
VANDANA SHIVA IN OJAI
 
Want to avoid parking snarl? The Ojai Trolley will be running for free that day so why not park your car near a trolley stop and be delivered to Earth Day in style? Better yet, ride your bike to campus. Oak Grove’s bike valet will take care of it for you and give you a free raffle ticket for a $3,000 value draw!
 
Vandana will also be at Pacifica Graduate Institute’s conference Climate of Change and the Therapy of Ideas while in the area (April 24) and at Soka University for Critical Conversations: The Future of the Planet on April 26.
 
We’ll be filming and taking notes at these events and will send you a brand new update about The Seeds of Vandana Shiva in a few weeks. Watch this space!

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We arrived to a Paris locked down and traumatized by the November 13 terror attacks. Tear gas still in the air from an illegal climate march. Draconian emergency measures banning any gathering of more than two persons with a “political message.”
 
And yet, ten days later at the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, we filmed tens of thousands who took to the streets in joyful demonstration for a commitment to climate action. The energy was electric. The police stood aside. Despite the State of Emergency, activists in Paris found a way to be heard. 
  
On that same day, December 12, 196 countries agreed to take steps to arrest the build up of greenhouse gasses disrupting the climate and causing extraordinary natural disasters.
 
Post-analysis puts the voluntary agreement somewhere between “a turning point in human history” and “too little too late.” At best there is greater hope that governments will stand up to polluting corporations and legislate measures to combat climate chaos.
 

Of course Vandana Shiva was front and center of the activities–giving speeches, meeting with government ministers, speaking at press conferences, fielding numerous interviews and even helping to plant an organic “garden of hope” in the city.

 
Here she is arriving at The Rights of Nature Tribunal, one of numerous powerful and packed-to-capacity gatherings she addressed on her back-to-back schedule in Paris.
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The doormat says The Solution is Under our Feet–a great piece of guerrilla art designed by Kiss The Ground, part of our Regeneration International crew, who also arranged to have the words The Soil Story beamed from the Eiffel Tower.

For the first time, at COP21, soil and agriculture was on everyone’s lips and food systems were acknowledged to be factors in climate change.
But just like Big Tobacco and Oil, Big Ag and Big Food are denying the extent of their culpability while proposing false solutions offering more of the same: seed patenting, loss of biodiversity, genetic engineering, toxic chemical inputs, expensive technologies, displacement of farmers and corporate control of our food supply.

Thankfully, in Paris Vandana and the team from Regeneration International clearly articulated their message of hope. Without resource heavy technologies, organic and fair traded food systems can sequester carbon out of the atmosphere and return it to the soil where it belongs.

Our video about her Navdanya farm and university, Welcome to Bija Vidyapeeth was screened at the  It’s Possible Forum at La Villette where she appeared with Rob Hopkins of the Transition Network and Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. This event centered on the change-making possibility of people power, an idea both celebrated and executed in Paris.

 
As Vandana made clear at the Forum, we can transition away from degenerative and predatory economies. It is not only imperative but also possible for we in the West do well with less.
 
In fact, regenerative gatherings against degenerative systems were numerous and happening all over Paris.

One particularly important event was the press conference held on December 3rd announcing an International Monsanto Tribunal scheduled for October 2016 in The Hague. Another was the Pathways to Paris Concert with Patti Smith, Flea, Thom Yorke, Tenzin Choegyal, Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibbon and Naomi Klein.

Now we are home and back to editing.

With all the filming done for this project, our equipment has taken a beating. Two of our cameras failed on this trip. First thing in the new year we hope to repair them while also preparing for post production. That means fundraising. However, by making a tax-deductible donation to this project right now, you could put your 2015 tax dollars to use. Thank you in advance for your support!

All the rewards still apply, including a free and early link to the film.
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We’re zipping our bags and heading for Paris.
 
This trip we will be filming Vandana and others during various events at the much anticipated U.N. Climate Conference, COP21.
 
You will likely know by now that the large peoples’ marches—which would have drawn tens of thousands calling for action on climate change–have been banned following the November 13 attacks. This is a tragic set back for those who face the worst impacts of climate chaos yet are barely represented in the official negotiations. Their voices are usually best heard in the streets.
 
French authorities have arrested several climate activists under an emergency ruling against meetings of more than two people promoting a “political message.” But holiday shopping and sports games can go on.
 
None of this is stopping numerous activities happening outside of the official talks. And while our world leaders focus–as usual–on emissions reductions and market solutions, we’ll be with a contingent of organizations bringing to Paris a message of hope.
 
Here it is: The solution to global warming lies under our feet. Properly managed, healthy soils can cool the planet and feed the world. 
 
We need to transition away from industrial agricultural practices–that contribute almost half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions–to ecological practices that regenerate the soil’s capacity to take in excess carbon and produce healthy food.
 
Here’s a brilliant video produced by the Center for Food Safety that makes the point clear.
 
 
 
The choice between agro-ecology and agro-industry–at the heart of a growing global movement including Vandana’s work–is absolutely key to the issue of climate change.
 
Food systems also play a significant part in human rights, social disruption and war.
 
In 1984, Vandana was awakened to the high human cost of industrial agriculture when 30,000 people lost their lives in the Punjab, one of India’s most fertile states. Sent to study the roots of the conflict by United Nations University, she discovered the following: Though the Green Revolution was sold to India as a means to prosperity, the new agriculture actually created a cycle of debt. First, chemical agriculture depleted soil fertility and overused water. Second, with increasing amounts of expensive inputs required–fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides–food production shifted into the hands of industrialists. Punjab’s small farmers were pushed off their land into poverty. 
 
As desperate farmers became increasingly squeezed, they rose up in protest. The government responded by sending the army into a sacred Sikh temple. Soon afterwards, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was killed. And so the tragic cycle of violence began.
 
In Syria, a massive drought between 2006 and 2009–powered by climate change–was compounded by similarly misguided agricultural policies. This contributed to the crisis of displacement and terror playing out now.

In Paris, not only will we be filming with The Seeds of Vandana Shiva in mind, we’ll also be helping the team at Regeneration International with their powerful message. We should add they are generously supporting our trip.
 
Back home, our editors will be completing the first cut of Dr. Shiva’s life story of activism!

We’ll send an update when we return from Paris in a few weeks. In the meantime, follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we will be posting news when we can!
 
Follow social media updates from Seed Freedom and Regeneration International too. And if you are moved to post about the intersection between our food choices and climate change, and even war, feel free to use the following hashtags: #RegenerativeAg #SoilNotOil #SeedsOfVandana #COP21.
 
P.S: Cinematographer Loreto di Cesare took the pic on our banner. He filmed with us in at Navdanya in 2014 and just completed a new doc himself, featuring Vandana. Revolution: Food. Check it out!

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We want to thank EVERYONE who donated to our Summer 2015 Fundraising campaign. Not everyone supported this project through Kickstarter, we received donations by way of the donation tab on this website as well as through other means. To those donors: We won’t publish your name unless you would like us to add them to the list below. We’d be happy to do so, just let us know!

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We can’t wait to let you know when the film is complete!

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WITH YOUR SUPPORT WE MADE OUR GOAL. Yes! We leave for India on Sunday, where we will begin by interviewing Vandana’s childhood friends, teachers, and son.
We will also visit Gandhi’s Ashram and film gatherings of organic farmers atNavdanya and Indore (in Central India) where many say the modern organic movement began.
The story of the organic movement as we know it today has deep roots in India and actually features an Englishman. In 1905 an agricultural developer named Albert Howard–from Shropshire–was dispatched to the colony to teach Indian farmers how they should farm.
Instead, this Western scientist discovered that the indigenous farmers could teach him far more: He went on to famously document the benefits of organic agriculture for the Rodale Institute and other organizations, and is well known for stating that “the health of soil, plant, animal and man is indivisible.”
Howard advocated for agroecology long before the advent of GMOs and the corporate control of our food systems.
Today Indore is a center of food culture in India. With Dr. Shiva we’ll visit organic farmer’s markets, including the Sarafa Bazaar, a night market famous for its vegetarian street food.
Edible treats not withstanding, we see excellent footage ahead.
Thanks to our donors and Kickstarter backers, in Delhi we’ll film at the Bhoomi Festival, source archival material, and look for an artist to help us with animation and graphics:
Here’s a picture of the Hindu Goddess Durga in the Madhubani style of Indian art. Durga is the embodiment of the warrior woman: She tears down demons and difficulties to build anew. Many describe Vandana as a manifestation of Durga…an idea we explore with her in the film.

 The Kickstarter campaign ends this Saturday, September 19 and you can still pledge. Every dollar over and above our initial goal will go directly into the project and we have a wish list! You could be rewarded with any one of the following, which all make great gifts.

And more! See our Kickstarter page for other rewards.
In the meantime, we’re excited to be able to get back to the film. We’ll send out rewards as soon as we return!

Agroecology Climate Change Earth Democracy Gandhi India Industrial Agribusiness Monsanto News Organic Seed Freedom Uncategorized Vandana Shiva Year of the Soil

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Great news! Our Kickstarter campaign is 94% funded with 9 days to go.
 
We are nearing the home stretch: If you have yet to pledge to The Seeds of Vandana Shiva, please do so now. We invite you to join us in our mission to tell Vandana’s life story.
And if we go over our goal, that’s OK too! We still have some distance to go to finish this film and we’ll put all contributions to excellent use. For example, down the line we’ll be looking to post-production costs: new edits, an original score, sound editing and color correction, not to mention promotion of the completed film.
 
This week we are at the Heirloom Seed Expo, a fantastic event attended by thousands that takes place every year in Santa Rosa, California. Last evening we screened our promo reel before Vandana’s appearance at the Seed Summit panel. It was both gratifying and humbling to receive big applause for our work.
Last week we attended a mind-blowing Soil Not Oil conference organized by the indefatigable Biosafety Alliance. Featuring an impressive gathering of scientists and activists we came away secure in the knowledge that the science is clear: Regenerative food systems are the solution to ecological devastation, poverty, hunger and climate change. Contrary to the messaging of Big Ag and Big Food, agriculture created by an industry focused on product and profit is not the solution, but a major cause of these problems.
 
In case you have not visited our Kickstarter page, you may have missed our great new rewards:
 
For $50 you will receive a pack of 10 cards featuring the Zulu word ubuntu. Sometimes described as “I am because you are,” ubuntu expresses a social and spiritual stance of respect, concern and compassion for one’s family and community. With this pledge you will also receive an early link to the finished film.
And for $35 you will receive a signed copy of Vandana Shiva’s seminal work, Soil Not Oil, recently reissued by North Atlantic Books. In the book she condemns industrial agriculture as a recipe for ecological and economic disaster and champions small, independent farms for their greater productivity, potential for social justice and ability to restore biodiversity essential for the health of the planet. It is a fascinating read that explains how a world beyond dependence on fossil fuels is not only necessary, but possible too.
Let us remind you that all rewards above $25 include an early link to the film!
Here’s Satish Kumar on why The Seeds of Vandana Shiva is so important:
Satish Kumar on The Seeds of Vandana Shiva

Thank you so much to our supporters so far. We’re looking forward to sending you news of our filming trip in India–if we reach our Kickstarter goal, we’ll be en route on September 20th.

Don’t forget to follow our Facebook and twitter feeds, for news about the film and Vandana’s work.

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