Geronimo Barrera de la Torre

Grant Type

Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Texas, Austin, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10361

Approve Date

October 6, 2022

Project Title

Barrera de la Torre, Geronimo (Texas, Austin, U. of) "Xa Lyu K?yaq: Un mundo de cerros (World of Mountains)"

XaLyu K’yaq explores the relationship between environmental conservation and indigenous autonomy at a critical moment. Through the viewpoint of community members in the Chatino indigenous and campesino community of San Juan Lachao (Oaxaca, Mexico), the film brings to the fore epistemic critiques of forestry schemes and climate change mitigation implemented in their territory, centering on carbon offsetting. These offsets are an increasingly widespread free-market system for companies to offset their carbon emissions by purchasing the protection of tracts of forested land. The film questions the inequalities underpinning such measures and explores local responses to preserve the forested landscape. As the world is increasingly trying to address climate change in collaboration with forested communities, it is imperative to consider the complex impact this has on communities. The film addresses the ongoing process of fronterization through which Lachao’s territory becomes part of the environmental market. We follow forestry workers, a women’s rights/ environmental activist, the owner of a coffee plantation, and the local authorities. Thus, through observational footage, XaLyu K’yaq explores people’s complex links with the forested landscape and, drawing on participant interviews the film shows local viewpoints about the ongoing commodification of nature, the transformation of the landscape and community organization.