Our everyday reliance on new technologies and ‘indispensable’ items such as Smartphones hides a grim reality, that of the raw materials extraction industry whose activities have severe social, health and environmental repercussions.
Behind the scenes of our consumer society, profit-motivated multinationals are violating the most basic of human rights with impunity and with the complicity of governments. Although natural resource extraction has always helped advance human civilisation, we have now reached a tipping point whereby, through global warming, the balance of the planet is under threat and democratic principles are at risk as the people that find themselves in the path of resource extraction projects are seen only as obstacles.
This predatory system, which seems to know no ethical or physical bounds, is called extractivism. Here, we explore the impacts and foundations of this system, which is based on excess and involves sacrificing ever greater and larger areas of land throughout the world without consulting the people who live there. Using new technology, it is becoming increasingly easier to detect previously inaccessible deposits of raw materials, meaning that no land anywhere is now safe. Tomorrow, it could be where you live. With this brochure, we want to ensure that the voices of indigenous peoples and communities are heard as, not only are they often the first victims of these activities but, through their determined opposition to attempts to turn nature and life into commodities, they can also encourage us to reassess our worldview.
The aim is to raise awareness and call on all people to come together to oppose extractivism by recognising the contribution of indigenous peoples, who are the forerunners in this universal fight to save our lands and the commons.