BAKA, GUARDIANS OF THE FOREST
An audiovisual project by Aitor Lara & José Bautista
– Running time: 8 minutes
The Baka Pygmies of Cameroon are facing a serious departure from their traditional way of life due to the increasingly sedentary lifestyle that has been forced upon them for years. They were expelled from their ancestral lands, which have been turned into protected areas of the Dja Faunal Reserve and into concessions granted to transnational extraction companies that exploit the natural resources of the forest, such as gold, iron and wood.
At the same time, the policies of economic development have focused on extensive agriculture, causing the progressive disappearance of the rainforest. This has all triggered an accelerated loss of the collective identity of the Baka community, which is driving them toward alcoholism, malnutrition and the proliferation of diseases like HIV and AIDS.
Profoundly disoriented, settled at the gate of the rainforest, the Baka people are deprived of the fundamental right to property of their own land, as recognized by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007.