Tag: India

Bullock at Navdanya trough

What does a bullock have to do with The Seeds of Vandana Shiva?

Quite a bit it turns out…

We just spent two weeks with Vandana on her farm in Northern India. While conducting interviews and collecting footage for the film, we also joined a diverse group of students from all over the world–and all over India–there to attend a month long A-Z intensive on agro ecology and organic food systems.

Little wonder cattle are revered in India. On small farms they provide manure for fertilizer, muscle power to till fields, along with milk for the family and to sell to the community. Their dung is also used for fuel and in the construction of buildings. Who needs to buy gas guzzling tractors or toxic chemical inputs when this placid guy can give you so much?

There are so many fascinating things to learn about the web of life and how–with cooperation, not domination–it can sustain us. Though we enjoyed sneaking in to the lectures and talks, we also spent many hours with Vandana herself, exploring a gamut of topics, ranging from her introduction to indigenous spirituality by the tribal women of the Himalayas to her role in the 1999 “Battle of Seattle” protests against the WTO.

Speaking of spirituality, Jim Becket and Jim Whitney just spent several days with her in New York City where they filmed at the Religions of the Earth Conference at Union Theological Seminary and at the People’s Climate March, the largest climate change protest in history. Focused on talks scheduled to take place at the United Nations this week, more than 1,500 organizations took part in the New York demonstrations, with satellite events all over the world.

Since more than 40% of greenhouse gases can be attributed to industrial agriculture, Vandana has been a long time promoter of agro-ecology as a viable antidote. Here’s a clip from a discussion we had with her last week. The treaty she refers to is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that was negotiated at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

Of course we would not have these comments on film without your support! So again, we must thank all of you who contributed to our seed fund campaign. Our filming trip to India was a huge success, and we can’t wait to go through our reams of footage to begin the (long) process of putting together the film. By the way, we also collected seeds, spices, and hand woven cotton stoles while we were in India, which we will distribute, as promised, to our valued donors.

Bija Vidyapeeth Climate Change India Navdanya Vandana Shiva

Zambian Woman With Hoe

We’re getting ready to leave for India!

And we’re thinking about Thank You Gifts for our generous donors. Please expect them towards the end of September, when we get back.

As you know, we are traveling to India to film for our new documentary, The Seeds of Vandana Shiva, which tells the remarkable life story of eco activist Dr. Vandana Shiva, how she stood up to the corporate Goliaths of chemical agribusiness, rose to prominence in the environmental movement, and inspired an international movement for change.

You can still make a tax-deductible donation towards production costs for this project!

Our next step is to create a fundraising video to help us secure foundation funding to complete a full-length version of this important film.

Here’s Vandana on Mechanical Science versus Indigenous Knowledge:

Some background: When she was researching her book about women and ecology, Staying Alive (first published in 1989), Vandana began to look at science in a new way. The Neem Tree she mentions in this clip is indigenous to India, and has been used for centuries in Indian medicine and agriculture. In 2000 the European Patent Office revoked a patent on Neem for pesticide use that had been granted to the U.S. based W. R. Grace Corporation, ruling that the patent amounted to bio-piracy. Vandana’s activism was key to the ruling.

As to her own scientific credentials, as a child Vandana was considered a science prodigy, and received important science scholarships throughout her education. She earned her first degree in Particle Physics at the University of Chandigarh, and her PhD in the Philosophy of Quantum Theory from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. Before founding her Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, she did interdisciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy at the Indian Institute for Science. There’ll be more on her scientific career in the film!

Again, deep appreciation and thanks to our donors. Don’t forget to select your Thank You Gifts. We’ll be back in touch when we get back from India.

India Navdanya Seed Freedom Vandana Shiva

Here’s a clip we made for Vandana’s Earth University–Bija Vidyapeeth–which is located at Navdanya.

Agroecology Bija Vidyapeeth Navdanya Seed Freedom Vandana Shiva