Land of Thorns – Struggling for survival in Karamoja

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(englisch) – von Steffen Keulig, Marketfilm

Im Februar 2008 war ein RdN Team zu Filmaufnahmen für drei Wochen in Uganda bei den Karamojong. Der Film Land of Thorns wurde von der EU gefördert.

Land of Thorns depicts some turns of life in Karamoja through the portrays of three Karamojan women who have been facing various challenges with great personal strength. With breath-taking images and exclusive scenes, Land of Thorns presents the richness and beauty of traditional pastoralist lives and cultures in the north east of Uganda and bordering Kenya. The film also warns against contemporary threats to the sustainability of pastoral livelihoods. The film gives voice to traditional communities and civil society, highlighting major themes of current relevance.

Cattle Raids and forced disarmament:
The vulnerability of the people of Karamoja is partly related to the outcomes of several decades of armament race among tribes and of increased cattle raiding and armed theft. Several phases of disarmament by the Ugandan military forces across the years 2000 have brought about a fragile and questionable decrease of raiding in recent months. Most often carried out forcefully, the disarmament has also generated a significant amount of alleged human rights violations. Long term consequences are also preoccupying.

Challenges to pastoral livelihoods:
The threats to sustainable pastoralism are manifold, complex and interacting with each other. The film explores and introduces these dimensions, looking further into the vicious circle of food insecurity, over-use of land resources, environmental degradation, socioeconomic marginalization and cultural destabilization. The related questions of demography, land use policies and climate change, and their roles in the vicous circle of unsustainability, are also introduced.
Produced by ACTED und FdN (49 Minuten)