Six people gathered last Friday to watch “The Last Guardians,” hosted by the Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society, which showed how indigenous people in Ecuador were negatively affected by oil companies.
Every Friday night at 7 p.m. SEEDS shows a variety of movies that have a strong environmental presence and are meant to bring awareness to the environmental issues around the world.
Jay Jones, professor of biology and chemistry, is the club moderator of SEEDS and is an advocate for the environment by bringing awareness to issues that have a negative effect on the Earth. Every week Jones shows a different movie spanning from different geographic areas.
Erik Bahnson, president of the SEEDS club and an environmental ethics major, is one of the more active members at these showings.
“SEEDS and the gardening club have unofficially cosponsored the series, but of course Jay has been doing this forever,” Bahnson said.
“The Last Guardians” stressed the harms of oil companies extracting oil from Ecuador, particularly in indigenous areas. This film did not only press the issue of oil being of harm to the environment but also to the indigenous Indians religion and culture.
The environment sustains the indigenous person’s lifestyle, and the presence of the oil companies often times kills the people.
“It is ironic that they are spending all of this money to extract the oil but lose it to poor maintenance,” said Al Clark, professor of humanities.
He said he tries his best to attend these film series, since he often assigns these showings to his classes.
“They are, in many ways, cutting edge environmental films,” Clark said.
Natalie Curiel, sophomore psychology major, attended the SEEDS movie showing for the first time.
“The oil companies cause so much damage to the way the indigenous people live, it is unfortunate that their voices are often overlooked by the other countries,” Curiel said.
Curiel said she hopes to attend more of these films in the future due to the interesting content.
Many who showed up participated in the discussion that surrounded the topic of oil invasion in lesser developed countries.
“Some of [the films] are crazy, some of them are interesting, but all of them are challenging,” Clark said.
These movie nights are shown because they are thought provoking and good vehicles to generate interaction with other people, Jones said.
Jones said he had hands on experience with the issue as he has worked for an oil company and visited Ecuador on a field trip with students in the past.
The movies are not only shown for the enjoyment of the audience, but to create discussion, and to have many different people come together to share their experience as well as their opinions, Jones said.
“I think the value that the series holds is that you don’t hear this sort of material in the curriculum in any mainstream class,” said Bahnson
This Friday, SEEDS will host “Arise,” a feature about women activists trying to reunite the gap between humans and nature, which will play at 7 p.m. in the Arts and Communications Building room 212.
Erica Sanchez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.