UN Habitat – World Urban Forum 7

April 2014 | WITNESS’ Latin America & Caribbean Regional Coordinator, Laura Salas, traveled to Medellín, Colombia to attend the World Social Forum (WUF) and the People’s Alternative Social Forum (PAUSF), where she participated in screenings and conducted a number of video advocacy trainings.

In collaboration with the PAUSF and local collectives, Laura worked with a group of eight youth activists on the planning and production process of a video advocating against unlawful evictions occurring in the La Cascada community in Medellín. She also conducted a training in the La Cascada community with 26  youth activists, community organizers, and students, focused on advocacy strategies and further developing their video production skills. Laura distributed DVDs and flash drives featuring the Forced Evictions Advocacy Toolkit.

Laura also led a workshop with PAUSF at the Universidad de Antioquia on using video to support advocacy campaigns against forced evictions and promote land and housing rights. The workshop, attended by 27 activists from Argentina, Colombia, the United States, and Venezuela, included discussions of the Forced Evictions Advocacy Toolkit, WITNESS’ video for change methodology, case studies, and basic camera exercises.

Along with The Habitat International Coalition (HIC) and the Museo Casa de la Memoria, Laura conducted a workshop on using video as a tool for strengthening advocacy campaigns against forced evictions. Over 25 community leaders and activists from Colombia and Spain took part in the workshop. Following the workshop, Museo Casa de la Memoria hosted a public screening event featuring a number of WITNESS forced evictions videos.

WITNESS was invited by the World Urban Forum to participate in a round table dialog between community members fighting eviction in a downtown neighborhood of Medellín, El Naranjal, and members of the company working to re-develop the area. Both sides presented videos along with their arguments. Over 90 people attended the panel and there was a lot of audience participation. Many people commented that it was one of the few spaces in the WUF that invited both sides of the argument and encouraged discussion around the issue of evictions.

For our most recent articles about Forced Evictions, visit the WITNESS Blog