Gold fever in Galicia

spiral-grande-corcoestoSomeone said that “the truth always lies somewhere inbetween, if it could only rise up and show itself to us”.

I came to think of this quote when I learned about this crowdfunding campaign on goteo.org: Tesouro de Corcoesto.

This is the issue: Gold fever

There are far going plans to pick up gold mining again at Corcoesto in Galicia, Spain. This time with an open mine field, which would have a huge impact on the environment in the region. The Galician government has given rights to a Canadian mining company to proceed with exploitation.

The situation is infected, involving distrust in the politicians and the local government, fierce protests from environmentalists and the local communities, partial media reporting, and a population split into a polarized yes-no position in the question (as the mine would also offer well needed job opportunities).

Getting closer to the truth

Film maker Cora Peña is working on a documentary about this conflict. Through research and interviews with different people involved, visits to the site and to a similar gold mine in Asturias, she wants to give the full picture of the situation, and open a discussion about this kind of developments in the global capitalistic economy.

Until now, a team of three people have been working on this film, with no financial support. They are half way through filming. They have now chosen to crowdfund the finalisation for two reasons: 1) To stay entirely independent from any of the parties involved, and 2) to release the documentary online under a Creative Commons license, which means that you and me are free to re-use it (as long as we give credits and it is not for commercial use).

Why I support this film project

I have given a humble contribution to support this documentary project, and this for a number of reasons:

  • Access to information is key in a democratic system, and independent documentary film has an important role to play here.
  • The budget is anything but excessive, it is clear that the film makers make efforts to keep costs down and focus on the minimum necessary.
  • I like the concept of goteo.org as crowdfunding platform: All projects funded there bring something back to society. In this case it is a documentary released with a CC license, other projects may deliver open source software or something else that others can freely benefit from. Goteo is all about open knowledge and free sharing.
  • Although the film is about this particular project in Spain, it may help people across the world to understand similar situations.
  • As a jewellery maker, I have a special relation with metal. All metals have at some point been brought up from deep under the ground, through hard, dangerous and dirty labour, which I can not even imagine as I sit there in my studio and carefully cut my small, shining silver sheets. I know that gold is a fantastic metal to work with. I also know that gold can be melted down again and recycled. And I wonder: At what costs do we have to exploit the gold that is still available in the ground? At what point do we say “yes, there is a crisis and we do have gold fever here right now, but… no, let’s not do this, it’s not worth it”.

I think that this documentary can help us get a glimpse of the truth about modern gold fever, or at least let us come fairly close.

If you want to support this project with money, please go here. You can also help by spreading the word about this fundraising campaign.

Last day to give your support is 20 September.

In the meantime, I keep my fingers crossed that this documentary will eventually hit the screens, and I wish the team ¡mucha suerte!

Thank you for reading!

= = = =

UPDATE 14 October:

The crowdfunding campaign was successful, the project gathered the minimum funds in the first round! It is now running in a second round, to raise funds to bring this film “to a higher level”.

This means for example to pay costs to be able to film from the sky, to commission music, produce DVDs and promote it more widely on national and international film festivals. Doesn’t sound bad at all, does it?

You can still support this second phase all through the month of October, so there is still time to pop over at goteo.org and give your contribution.

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6 thoughts on “Gold fever in Galicia

  1. While sailing around Galicia, we stopped for a while in the Cangas Harbour, to fix some technical problems and (and paint one or two more watercolours). We made friends in Cangas, who told me about the controversial gold mining project in Galicia. Our crew is bi-national, while I’m Romanian, my friend and best “second officer” is French. Both concerned about the Rosia Montana gold mining project. I was glad to find your post, discovered your blog as I was searching for more news about gold in Galicia – I also read the article on the Romanian project, it’s touching, your words come directly from the heart. Thank you. I’ll share that, friends from Rosia will surely be gla

    • Thank you for your comment here! I’m glad to know this resonates and that it seems that my message did get across.
      I love to hear about your sailing stop there. Myself, I have never been to nor Galicia, nor Romania, but still, I do feel very strongly about these conflicts, as I think that in the end, they concern all of us.
      (Btw, I updated this post just now, as the crowdfunding is now running in a second phase, so there is still time to support this documentary film.)
      Again, thank you so much for your comment!

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