Recovering Community

Colombia River Stories: The symbiotic relationship between the Río Atrato and the community who call it home

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Episode notes

The 400 mile long Río Atrato is in the Chocó department of northwest Colombia. Chocó is one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the country. It’s also one of the poorest, and the river provides essential transport and economic opportunities to the residents.

In today’s episode, Anne Kerr meets her colleagues Mo Hume and Allan Gilles, and artist Jan Nimmo to hear about the project Colombia River Stories.

This interdisciplinary research project, which is a collaboration between the universities of Glasgow, Portsmouth and Nottingham, combines art, song, citizen science and activism to respond to the court ruling T-622, which recognises the River Atrato as a bearer of rights.

The ruling demands actions to address the socio-environmental devastation of conflict-linked, illegal mechanised gold mining in the collective territories of Chocó’s Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities. The project supports the local communities as they push for the full implementation of T-622 in the face of an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region.