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Sacha Taki (Songs of the Forest)

11 November 2021
6:45 pm
10:00 pm

“Our forest sings through all the living beings in it; we sing to the jungle, and we want it to be like this forever” (Nancy Santi 2019)

Sacha Taki (Songs of the Forest) is a short documentary about the irrevocable links between biological and cultural diversity in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

In the film members of the Pueblo Ancestral Kichwa Kawsak Sacha (PAKKS), an indigenous organization in the province of Pastaza, describe how their soundscape is a critical point of contact for communication between humans and all other beings in the forest – the animals, weather, forest spirits and their ancestors. This communication is the foundation of Sumak Allpa – “a land without evil”. The film is accompanied by an exquisite illustration of how humans listen to all the beings of the forest to live better lives.

The film and illustration were created as part of a participatory action project carried out with the communities in order to register and articulate the ecological, cultural, social and spiritual value of their forests. This in turn contributes to an ongoing project of the same name which addresses the conservation of biological and cultural diversity through soundscape heritage and has enabled the first step in applying for cultural heritage status, toward protection of their natural and cultural heritage.

The event is the world premiere of a short documentary (15 mins in Spanish with English subtitles) and exhibition of these exquisite illustrations, followed by a chance to talk with the film maker, artist, project researchers, NGO director and community members.

Through this work we gain insight into the cosmovision of the PAKKS community, we understand the soundscape, as a nexus between nature and culture; we realise that we cannot understand and protect one without considering the other. Insights from the communities invite us to reconsider global conservation imperatives and to reflect on our own relationship with the rest of the natural world.

Panelists include:

  • Paola Moscoso – Independent researcher, Ecuador
  • Gus Chiriboga – Film maker, Ecuador
  • Sozapato – Illustrator, Ecuador
  • Didier Lacaze – Director, Sacha Warmi Intercultural Health Programs, Ecuador
  • Alice Eldridge, Reader in Sonic Systems, University of Sussex, UK

It is through these songs that we communicate with the forest and its guardian spirits, to call the animals of the forest or the fish of the river, to invoke or propitiate the fertility of the gardens, to cure illnesses and diseases, to bring tranquility to families, to remember and transmit the teachings left by our ancestors, to live well together. They are like pathways and bridges that reconnect us with our history and our origins. The living beings of the jungle also have their own way of expressing the life that manifests itself through them. Their songs and ours celebrate life. The ensemble of songs that can be heard in is a symphony which took thousands of years to write. It is a unique and priceless creation, which we cannot let be destroyed or disappear.” (SWF)

This event is a part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science. It is a co-production between Sussex Humanities Lab, Experimental Ecologies initiative and ONCA, and will be streamed on As If Radio as part of COP26. The film and illustrations were created through an action research project funded by Sussex Sustainability Research Programme‘s Global Challenges Research Fund.

We were honoured to work closely with Sacha Warmi Foundation in contributing to their excellent ongoing work to fortify and revitalize traditional systems in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

For more information about Sacha Taki, visit the PAKKS community website and Sacha Warmi Newsletter

This is a hybrid event that will be in person in Brighton and streamed globally online – please ensure that you select the correct ticket type.

This event is free, but please consider making a donation via Sacha Warmi foundation to support the PAKKS communities in protecting their natural and cultural heritage.


ONCA Barge at Brighton Marina
The Waterfront
Brighton, BN2 5UU United Kingdom
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Alice Eldridge

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