I sadly missed the event because of obligations which took me to Canada, but even from over 5000 miles away that didn't make the honour of being part of something uniquely special and important any less awesome.
This year the Norwegian Embassy's Programme for supporting indigenous peoples celebrates 30 years of work in Brazil. The milestone was marked on November 19th by a historical photo exhibit, live performances (including performances from Norway’s' own indigenous peoples, the Sami) and the presence of indigenous dignitaries like Raoni Metuktire and Davi Kopenawa Yanomami at Brazil’s National Museum in Brasilia. Many incredible NGOs, which receive financial support from Norway to help fight for the rights of indigenous peoples, were also present and their work celebrated on this night.
One other element to this evening’s programme was a short 30 minute documentary I had filmed, written and edited highlighting the Embassy’s work and the work of their partners over 30 years. Yes, call this shameless self-promotion, but it’s one of those extraordinary assignments where you’d be an absolute lummox not to flag-wave your own involvement. Not just because I feel the final product turned out well, but on a purely selfish personal level, I was given the opportunity to spend time with, and learn from, so many inspirational people doing stellar social and environmental work.
The Embassy’s exhibit is traveling to various cities in Brazil, and I assume the video will follow. I hope to make it to one of the showings, although 2014 is building up to be one wild roller-coaster of a year. My sincere congratulations to Kristian Bengtson and Patrícia Benthien for the incredible work they do on behalf of the Norwegian Embassy; work which truly has, as I've personally seen, made a significant difference in the lives of indigenous peoples here in Brazil.