ViBGYOR expresses solidarity with workers

Government policies that deny workers the right to organise should be opposed, a mini-conference organised on the fourth day of the ViBGYOR festival of international short and documentary films has said.

Almost all important struggles in the history of Kerala were started by workers. However, the new policies of the government were aimed at attacking the rights of the workers to organise, said social activist K. Venu.

Workers in the unorganised sector were the most affected by the changes in industrial polices, said social activist and documentary maker Amudhan. Such changes in industrial policies were meant for strengthening the industrial co-operation with western counties, he added.

The festival expressed solidarity with the on-going ‘sitting protest’ by women workers of a textile firm in Thrissur.

The Union government’s move to bring all environmental protection committees under the National Environmental Management Authority was an attempt to provide absolute power to the corporates to loot natural resources, environmental activist and former head of biodiversity board V.S. Vijayan said. He was addressing a session organised as part of ViBGYOR at the Regional Theatre here.

Addressing the session, environmental activist Latha said Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should not be the yardstick for measuring the growth of a country. “Development is possible when the country can eradicate poverty deaths, when it can ensure waste management systems and sanitation facilities in all houses,” she said.

The theme of this year’s ViBGYOR festival is ‘Green Growth’. “ViBGYOR, now entering into its 10th year, wants to tell a different story of growth, critiquing the very concept of growth itself,” said national coordinator of the festival, Fr. Benny Benedict.

The festival will screen documentary and short films from across the world during the week-long festival.

The films that screened at ViBGYOR 2015 reflect the many impulses that make a filmmaker pick up the camera, said festival director Surabhi Sharma.

“We are living through times that seem to force a sameness of thought and a narrow range within which one can express feeling and ideas. The vision of ViBGYOR is to crack open the comfortable and familiar bandwidth of expression that we allow for,” she said.

VIBGYOR festival was a platform where activists representing social movements and organisations, and individuals committed to ideals of democratic co-existence came together to share and learn from each other’s experience, said executive director of the festival, K. Gopinath.

Gary Marcuse, a film director from Canada, reached the ViBGYOR film festival with an objective of propagating his campaign against dams. His documentary, ‘Waking the Green Tiger’, portrayed the resistance of people on the banks of Yangtze against the dam across the river. The documentary film has been included in the ‘Focus of the Year’ package at the festival.