Seeds: commons or corporate property?

This is one of the most dynamic and illuminating films (39 min.) I have seen for quite a while. It follows the lives and struggles to save seeds – families, small farmers, communities, nations. It brilliantly facilitates deepening our understanding on several fronts – the predatory core and corruption of global capitalism in the seed industry, the incredible resistance of farmers and peasants in 8 countries to having their seeds and thus food supply deemed illegal, and, how they are acting to preserve their food and cultural commons, and their basic human and cultural rights. I will definitely use this in educational settings to help people grapple with the multiple levels the struggle for transformation must contend in. So inspiring. The video is in Spanish but has subtitles in French, English and Portuguese. I think my colleagues in the food, commons, solidarity economy and cooperative movements will find this a useful resource.

From the video description:

Jointly produced by 8 Latin American organisations and edited by Radio Mundo Real, the documentary “Seeds: commons or corporate property?” draws on the experiences and struggles of social movements for the defence of indigenous and native seeds in Ecuador, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Argentina, Colombia, and Guatemala.

The main characters are the seeds – indigenous, native, ours- in the hands of rural communities and indigenous peoples. The documentary illustrates that the defence of native seeds is integral to the defence of territory, life, and peoples’ autonomy. It also addresses the relationship between indigenous women and native seeds, as well as the importance of seed exchanges within communities. Exploring the historical origins of corn, and the appreciation and blessing of seeds by Mayan communities, this short film shows the importance of seeds in ceremonies, markets and exchanges.

Local experiences of recovery and management of indigenous seeds demonstrate the significant and ongoing struggles against seed laws, against UPOV and the imposition of transgenic seeds. Whilst condemning the devastation that such laws bring, this film captures the peoples’ resistance to the advancement of agribusiness.

The documentary is available in Spanish; with English, Portuguese and French subtitles. We invite you to watch it and to share it widely in order to continue defending the seeds which have become both peoples’ heritage, and which serve humankind on the path towards food sovereignty.

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