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.


Cinema Klandestino present a night of Bolivian film and info Sun 16th May at the Cube

Child Miners (2008)

Presidente Evo (2009)

This Sunday the 16th of may, cinema klandestino will be screening films from Bolivia at the Cube Cinema. We’ll be screening two documentary films by director Rodrigo Vazquez and he’ll be discussing them with everyone afterwards, either in person or by video link up.

doors open: 7pm

films start: 8pm

door charge: £2/1

Plus, we will be joined by two folk who have just returned from working with social movements out in Bolivia. They will be with us to share information, feedback on what they found out, give reports from on the ground, at meetings and marches with the social movements.

Before and after we will be playing audio of the Mayday 2010 scheenanigans in Bolivia, as well as interviews, music, short films and slideshows of images from their trip. They’ll be there two during the discussion to give updates on the situation in Bolivia and reflections on Rodrigo’s films, so hopefully everyone can stick about after the films!

Check out this blog before hand, it details much of their experiences out there:

The films:

Winner of the Grand Prize at the 2009 Montreal Human Rights Film Festival Child Miners (2008) is a documentary about the daily troubles of two child miners, Jorge and Alex, who make one dollar a day working in the crumbling Bolivian mine of Lllallagua.

Presidente Evo (2009) is co-narrated by the filmmaker and Evo Morales. It tells the story of how Bolivia’s first indigenous President managed to re-write the Constitution, re-distribute the land among poor peasants and nationalise the gas industry, as these events were actually unfolding.

directions to the cube:


Child Miners

For 100 years, the Llallagua mine has been used to extract tin. I filmed child miners Alex Choque and Jorge Mollinedo in December 2005, when Bolivia’s first indigenous President Evo Morales won the elections with the promise of transforming poor people’s lives. Evo promised to give miners a better life by re-nationalizing the industry. Jorge’s father has contracted silicosis, the “miners’ disease” and now is out of work, so Jorge had to increase his work load to keep bringing food to the house, thus increasing the chances of becoming ill like his father. Newly-arrived Cuban doctors sent by Evo’s government establish that Jorge has begun developing the “miner’s disease” and advised him to stop working immediately. But now more than ever, Jorge needs to keep working.

Evo Presidente

There are some rare moments in documentary filmmaking when we are privileged enough to be part of a historical moment. When a landslide election win gave coca-farmer Evo Morales the Presidency of Bolivia, I felt I was caught in one of those moments. This is a documentary that follows the first three years of government of indigenous Bolivian President Evo Morales in his bid to re-write his country’s Constitution to empower the poor.

Rodrigo Vazquez

In 2005 Rodrigo founded Bethnal Films in order to produce independent feature films and documentaries. He subsequently produced “La Apertura”, a short film that won the Audience Award in the Bilbao Film festival 2006 and was bought by Channel 4 UK, “Looking for the Revolution”, an observational feature-documentary about the on-going indigenous revolution in Bolivia, four series for “Witness-Al Jazeera” and “Al Jazeera People & Power”, “Inside Hamas”, nominated for the 2008 Rory Peck Award, “Child Miners”, winner of the Grand Prize at the 2009 Montreal Human Rights Film Festival, which was nominated for dozens of other awards, and set up internationa co-productions to make films such as “Angels of Rio” and “President Evo”. Rodrigo has just released two films: a short entitled “Interrogating a Torturer” and “This Land is Our Land” about the landless peasants’ movement in Paraguay. He is currently editing his first feature-length fiction film, “Lenin in Maracaibo”, where he blends documentary and fiction to tell the story of a young indigenous teacher living in a slum, and is working on his next feature-length documentary project, provisionally entitled “Borders”, to mark the 200th anniversary of Latin America’s independence.


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