No to Venezuelan Blood Gold: an awareness campaign
Updated: Dec 10, 2022
In the Venezuelan Amazon rainforest, environmental and human rights are being violated.
The No to Venezuelan Blood Gold campaign was born in 2022 as a way to raise awareness of the human and environmental disaster occurring in the Orinoco Mining Arc in the Venezuelan Amazon.
The No to Venezuelan Blood Gold campaign seeks
to shed a light on the human and environmental abuses taking place in the Orinoco Mining Arc in the Venezuelan Amazon rainforest
to alert the international community about the consumption of this blood-soaked illegal Venezuelan gold
to promote the work of Venezuelan NGOs and groups that are dedicated to investigating and reporting on these dreadful acts of destruction.
The campaign comprises a live performance with a dress made entirely of worthless Venezuelan banknote, a contemporary dance video, and a call to action to stop trading illegal and uncontrolled mined 'blood gold’ from Venezuela. Further information is below.
The Ecocide Money dress is a garment made of hundreds of worthless Venezuelan banknotes. The dress was inspired by Venezuela's tropical avian wildlife. It seeks to alert the international community about the environmental disasters taking place in the Venezuelan Amazon for the greed for more money
This dress is now the second of its kind in my awareness-raising project. In 2019, I went about creating a folkloric dress from Venezuelan banknotes to raise awareness about the economic crisis in Venezuela. The 'Hyperinflation Money dress' was on display at the Hyperinflation exhibition in the Economic Museum of Stockholm from 2020-2022. You may read more about the hyperinflation project in the link here.
Instead of using fabric, the dresses are made using Venezuelan banknotes that have lost their entire value due to the recent hyperinflation suffered in Venezuela, one of the longest periods of economic hyperinflation suffered in the world. Some of the causes of this hyperinflation were the collapse of the Venezuelan oil industry, the nationalisation of private industries and without a doubt, the mismanagement of Venezuela’s natural and mineral resources.
"The banknotes used to make the Ecocide Money-Dress lost their value because of the mismanagement of my country's resources, by a small group of people who govern Venezuela, who are dominated by greed.
Just as these people have destroyed the economy of my country in less than two decades, if they are not stopped, they will also succeed in destroying the green lungs of the world - the Amazon" - Katherine Hasegawa (March 2022)
ARTivismo por la Amazonía Venezolana is a contemporary dance video that aims at representing the human violations that occur in the Orinoco Mining Arc, such as attacks and massacres of indigenous communities, alcoholism, prostitution, human trafficking, labour and child exploitation and forced displacement. You can now watch the full version on Youtube, here
The presentation: a call to action
As part of the ARTivist performance, we deliver a presentation where we explain briefly what the situation in the Orinoco Mining Arc is, as well as urge the international community to take action to stop ecocide and the human rights violations taking place there.
Our call to action is listed as follows.
We demand companies stop trading blood gold illegally extracted from the Orinoco Mining Arc, and comply with OECD regulations for mineral supply chains.
We ask UNESCO's World Heritage Committee to send a “Reactive Monitoring Mission” to inspect the Canaima park, and also consider including Canaima on the ‘List of World Heritage Sites in Danger’.
We ask the UN to intervene and advocate for the rights of Venezuela’s indigenous peoples.
We encourage the British media to write more about the impact of the mining industry especially of the violations of human rights and the ecocide taking place in Venezuela’s Orinoco Mining Arc.
Wondering how you can contribute?
You can support our cause in many ways:
By learning more about this issue and the work of organisations dedicated to stopping illegal mining in Venezuela.
By spreading the word about these issues - e.g. reposting on your social media.
By contacting us to deliver our ARTivist show in your university, museum, town hall…
We look forward to hearing from you.