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Land Body Ecologies Podcast

A six-episode podcast series sharing stories of Solastalgia from land-dependent and indigenous communities affected by environmental change.

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Episode 5 – Born From Here/ Nkanzarirwa Hanu

"Our culture has become a story, told by somebody else." – Ekibahigire Abias, Batwa Community Member.

Clouds constantly rise and fall in the hills of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This is known as Muntaba and is a place the Batwa would not visit as it is meant to be spiritual and sited with gold.  

 

The Batwa were once forest dwellers who used to live in Ekyuya, Semuliki, Bwindi, and Mgahinga, their ancestral lands in Uganda. In the early 1990s, government authorities evicted the Batwa from the forest and their home in the name of free land for wildlife and forest conservation. The evictions left the Batwa struggling to survive and facing extreme discrimination on the margins of their former home. These forests lie within the biodiversity-rich Albertine Rift eco-region and are sites of global biodiversity importance, famously home to half of the world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas.

 

In Episode 5, Born From Here/ Nkanzarirwa Hanu, we travel to the edges of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Kanungu District in Southwestern Uganda. Looking to the dense green hills that hold fields of sunflowers and ridges overlooking sacred trees, listeners hear the lasting impacts on the health, culture, and livelihoods of the Batwa 30 years on from evictions. The episode features Batwa herbalists, artists, and rare insights from Elders on their experiences of living in and out of the forest.  

 

Each episode is paired with another side of the same story – a B-side where the landscape, then, speaks for itself. Sounds captured in the environment are turned into sound art, and musical expressions unearth from the land.

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Topista Tindimurekura, Batwa Community Member gathers firewood from land purchased by an NGO near the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest  Bwindi Hub, Uganda. © Photo Babtiha George. Courtesy of Land Body Ecologies.

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Credits

Land Body Ecologies Podcast is produced by Invisible Flock and this episode, Born from Here, is also produced with Action for Batwa Empowerment Group.

Translated by Kokunda Sylvia and Patricia Kagwa (Communications and Public Relations – ABEG).

 

Featured:  Ekibahigire Abias (Batwa Elder), Elphaz Kabwana, Geoffrey Kikoko (GPS), Jovilo Naume, Kapere Eliphazi (Batwa Elder), Karimunda Benon, Orikiriza Derick, Tushemerirwe Oliver, Yusef Kule

Voice Over: Enoch Lwanga, Samrawit Gougsa (Head of Communications, Minority Rights Group International), Sylvia Kokunda (Chief Executive Officer of Action for Batwa Empowerment Group),

 

With thanks also to: Patricia Kagwa, Ishmael Tumuhimbise (Field and Batwa Liaisons Officer ABEG), Babitha George (Quicksand)

Mastered by: Simon Scott

 

Cover Design: Reema Deshpande (Quicksand)

Geoffrey (Kikoko) GPS, Batwa Elder, speaks to LBE team members Babitha George and Ben Eaton during their visit to the Bwindi Hub in Uganda.  © Photo Babtiha George. Courtesy of Land Body Ecologies.

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