Bristol Latin America Forum is an annual event held in Bristol on Latin American politics, society and culture. The Forum comprises of workshops, film, a panel discussion, dance, music, food and in 2008 for the first time closed with a World Cafe process.

It is organised by local grassroots Latin American solidarity groups, some of whom form part of larger national and international organisations and networks. It is not for profit, horizontally organised and we welcome your participation.

This blog began as a means of publicising and web-streaming the Forum in 2008 and is now a space for Bristol - Latin America related information all year round. See previous posts for details of last the 2008 Forum and video clips of the event. If you want to publicise an event please email the blog moderator.


Environmental Justice week 10-11 November 2009

see also

Tuesday 10th November - 8pm
Cinema Klandestino present Our Oil and Other Tales
Launch of Cine Rebelde mini-season
First night of Environmental Justice week

With introduction and discussion afterwards led by Mark Ellingsen (Bristol Solidarity with Venezuela) and Thomas Muhr (University of Bristol)

A two-month journey across Venezuela, from Lake Maracaibo to the Orinoco Delta. The people of the oil fields and the mining centres talk of their close encounter with these exploitations. For the first time, in the revolutionary Venezuela, a documentary delves deep in the problematic of oil and coal, from the angle of the life experience of communities, oil workers, indigenous people.

The film takes a look at world politics on oil and other extractive activities, jointly with the themes of sovereignty and self-determination of a people engaged in a real process of change.

Directed by: Elisabetta Andreoli, Gabriele Muzio, Sara Muzio y Max Pugh
Produced by: Gattacicova (Italy) and Yeast Films (UK)
From the film makers of “another way is possible in Venezuela”

83 minutes, Spanish with subtitles in English

For trailer click here

As usual, call the Klandestino hotline NOW on 07747 833376 and listen to the brief message for venue and directions.

Wednesday 11th November - 1.30-4.30pm
Environmental Justice seminar
Environmental Justice week Event 2

Exploring the concept of environmental justice as the human right to a healthy and safe environment, a fair share of natural resources and access to environmental information and participation in environmental decision-making. To reserve a place, email

University of Bristol, LT1, 3-5 Woodland Road, BS8 1TB (click for map).

Cristian Domínguez (National Secretary of Environment and Resources, CSUTCB (United Confederation of Bolivian Campesino Workers)) has been at the forefront of environmental justice campaigns in Bolivia, opposing water privatisation and working for the nationalisation of natural resources. The organisation he represents, the CSUTCB, is one of the main social movement organisations which brought president Evo Morales to power.

Professor Malcolm Eames (Low Carbon Research Institute, Cardiff University) has participated in and led research and consultancy projects for a wide range of agencies including: DTI, DETR, UK Cabinet Office, Environment Agency, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the European Commission. In 2004 he produced a report on environmental inequalities in the UK which has underpinned the current UK Framework and Strategy for Sustainable Development.

Judy Ling Wong, CBE (Director, Black Environment Network, UK) has an international reputation as a pioneer in the field of black and minority ethnic participation in the built and natural environment. She works on urban design, identity, health, employment, and access to the countryside and urban green spaces. The groundbreaking methodology developed by BEN to engage urban-based ethnic minorities has been very influential in many areas of mainstream policy.

Wednesday 11th November - 6.30-9pm
What Does Climate Justice Look Like?
Copenhagen and The Energy Crisis: The Case Of BP In Colombia

Environmental Justice week Event 3
Guest speaker Isaac Marín from COSPACC, Colombia introduces and explores the situation on the ground in Casanare. The leader of this grass-roots organisation looks at the social and enviromental effects of BP in the region. Yasmine Brien (Rising Tide) re-contextualises climate change and global energy politics in terms of climate justice, including a look at so called “green” solutions such as biofuels.

Organised by Colombia Solidarity Campaign, Bristol Rising Tide and Espacio Bristol-Colombia. Chaired by Alice Cutler from popular education collective Trapese.

At the Old Council Chamber, Department of Law, University of Bristol, in
Wills Memorial Building, BS8 1RJ (click for map).

As world leaders and world activists prepare to descend on Copenhagen to take action on climate change, have we fully understood its structural causes? Colombian NGOs argue that the developed countries need to control their patterns of consumption, luxury and waste. Who is responsible for the global North's ecological debt to the global South?

Colombian social movements argue that multinational oil and mining corporations, especially BP and other British based companies, have destroyed their environment, their human rights and social fabric. This raises vital questions linking environmental justice with international solidarity. As Colombian communities struggle to defend their territories against multinational plunder, what can be done to build links with those affected by the seemingly unquenchable thirst for profit? How can corporations like BP be made accountable

Isaac Marín is a campesino leader from Eastern Colombia. His first organisational and political space was with the National Association of Peasant Farmers (ANUC), holding several positions at the regional level for a period of 12 years. He is a founder member of the group Corporación COSPACC, a civil organisation with national reach since its inception into social and political life 7 years ago. From this space, they contribute to the construction of different political and organizational processes with rural communities, neighbourhoods, student groups, womens associations, environmentalists, trade unions and organizations defending human rights.
Alongside these movements COS-PACC work to defend their territory and the enforcability of political, social, cultural and environmental rights of the communities and the Colombian people.

Yasmine Brien is actively involved in environmental and social justice campaigns with groups such as Bristol Rising Tide and Espacio Bristol-Colombia. She has recently returned from Colombia where she was accompanying social organisations and communities, and took part in a Friends of the Earth international delegation to verify the impacts of biofuel production.

While climate change has become a widely discussed issue, particularly in the lead up to December's UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, climate justice is rarely at the centre of these discussions. As a result, countries such as Colombia remain on the frontline of the worlds energy crisis bearing the brunt of the worlds fossil fuel dependency and search for so called "green" solutions in the form of biofuels and reforestation programmes.

Alice Cutler is a member of Trapese, a Popular Education Collective which offers workshops and training aimed at inspiring and promoting action for changing our world. Trapese are involved in organising a programme of film and events, *START PRODUCING THE FUTURE- Experiments against Enclosure - Tools to reclaim the Commons, to accompany C-Words:

C Words is part of Arnolfini's 100 Days season, marking the countdown to the 15th UN Conference on Climate Change, Copenhagen, December 2009. For more information on all events in the C Words season, please visit the 100 days website, and

For info on this event contact: or
07838 504840

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